What’s in a name?

In celebration of World IP Day, Clarivate shares a story of how the company got its name.

The variety of names used to categorize tennis techniques may be as numerous as the different varieties of apples. And, selecting a particular shot can be as important as selecting the right technique. Similarly with names, the choices we make about brands are intimately tied to a name and its associated attributes. As an example, the brand name “Coca Cola” is the single most valuable asset owned by that company.

For a new company, coming up with the right name and securing the correct intellectual property (IP) rights to owning and using that name is just about as important as it gets. And, this is where we were last year after becoming a new, independent company in need of a name.

On the face of it, that seems like a straightforward task. But consider this: there are 45 global trademark classes that comprise every conceivable product or service imaginable. From the coffee you might be drinking while reading this, to the software on which you’re viewing this web page; it’s all covered by trademark classes (classes 30 and 42 respectively, if you’re interested).

This unnamed business connected with at least six of the 45 trademark classes, and operates in nearly 100 countries. Any candidate for a new company name therefore needed to be checked for trademark eligibility in all of those countries and against all of the relevant classes. And, in order to get suggested names flowing, we set up an employee contest, incenting contributors with a $5 donation per name to Save the Children. Ultimately, over 1,500 names were submitted.

Once the names were submitted, basic rules of trademark law were applied. Rule number one – avoid confusing the consumer. For example, while an ‘apple’ is a well-known fruit, nobody goes into a grocery store asking for an iPad, nor enters an Apple store only to be annoyed that they can’t find a Golden Delicious. And don’t forget linguistics. Any name must avoid offence or gaucheness in translation. For example, the Chevy “Nova” was once translated as “no go”.

Finally, you need protection for your name, in print and online. Ideally you want to own the ‘dot com’ domain. It’s the original – and still the best – global top level domain (gTLD) that people associate with an online presence. There are about 250,000 words in the English language and just over 100,000,000 registered dot com domains, so it’s a pretty safe bet that the one you’re looking for – to match that great name you’ve just spent so much time, effort and energy researching – is taken.

Happily, this is work we do for our clients, and we have a wealth of class-leading expertise. Among the assets within our portfolio are CompuMark, which allows trademark validation through screening of the largest collection of trademark information and MarkMonitor, which allows efficient and safe management of domain portfolios.

Ultimately, and in a short, three-month timeframe, the name Clarivate Analytics was selected. This name is one that speaks to accelerating the pace of innovation with the trusted insights and analytics it provides to customers. Clarivate comes from “clarity” and “innovate” – two words at the heart of our purpose. Adding “Analytics” references our capability for providing actionable insight into our data for our customers, through specific expertise and tools.

Our naming effort was a huge success and meant that an impressive $7,555 was donated by Clarivate Analytics to Save the Children, a global organization that focuses on improving lives.

This is Dan Videtto’s first blog post as the new head of the Clarivate Analytics Patents and Standards division. When Dan joined the company the Clarivate Analytics name was already in place, but he does drink Coke Zero and enjoys tennis.