When you apply for a trademark for your business’ name, Monkey Wrench Plumbing, your attorney will ask you to disclaim the word “Plumbing” from your trademark.
In this context, disclaiming means that you’re telling the Trademark Office that you do not claim an exclusive right to use the word “Plumbing” to identify the source of the goods and services you provide.
This seems fair. If you’re a plumber, you can’t try to stop other plumbers from saying they’re plumbers. The same holds true for any other business – you can’t claim an exclusive right to use a word that is generic or descriptive for your industry or product.
If you have questions about what part of your trademark is protectable, give us a call.