Trademark translitteration


With the globalization of trade, it has become essential to protect one’s trademarks abroad.

The cultural gap requires companies to take account of language differences, as well as appraise the choice of communication colors, communication-related figures, etc.

In certain territories (Asia, Middle East, etc.), Latin characters are not used or understood by consumers.

Is there any point in registering a trademark that can’t be pronounced?

Aware of the commercial consequences of the consumers’ failure to recognize a trademark, and on the strength of its experience acquired via its Asian offices, the ViDON Group decided to create a service dedicated to the transliteration/translation of its clients’ trademarks.

This service comprises the creation of transliterations and, of course, checks to ensure the availability of the proposed transliterations on the target territories.

Creation of the transliteration/translation

Literal translation of the trademark is not always possible or appropriate.
The favored approach is often that of transliteration, in order to convey a real message to consumers.

The choice of a transliteration is usually driven by two main goals:

  • facilitating access to foreign markets;
  • overcoming the impossibility of registering a trademark in Latin characters (in countries such as China, Taiwan and the United Arab Emirates).

In collaboration with our Asian offices and our colleagues based in the Middle East, we propose appropriate transliterations to suit the project under study, taking account of various factors:

  • similar pronunciation to that of the initial trademark (phonetic approach);
  • the meaning, which may be a translation of the initial trademark, or a sales argument relating to the products or services coming under that trademark (semantic approach),
  • etc.

The first step in the creation of the transliteration involves a preliminary selection of characters in order to exclude characters or expressions/colors/numbers which:

  • are prohibited by local law;
  • have no distinctive character;
  • have a negative impact on targeted consumers.

Availability check

Once the transliterations have been carefully chosen, we propose the associated similarity checks in order to anticipate any conflicts.