Words and designs that lack badges fall into a fifth category, “generic”, and cannot function as trademarks. A mark that is considered “distinctive” is one that identifies a unique source of particular goods or services. trademark law does not protect terms that are merely descriptive of a good or service to ensure that all competitors have the ability to properly describe their products or services. Product trademarks fall into five categories.
In general terms, these marks can be a generic brand, a descriptive brand, a suggestive brand, an imaginative brand, or an arbitrary brand. The USPTO classifies trademarks primarily based on the nature of the product in relation to the brand in question. An arbitrary mark draws words or phrases from the vernacular. However, these words should have no relation to the products they mean.
The caveat then becomes the increase in the cost of advertising strategies. Efforts should focus on instilling the audience with the new semantic association. However, this should not be discouraging, as success would mean significant benefits. Take Apple, for example, a brand that bears the name of a fruit.
It sells electronic products known not only as luxury devices, but also, ironically, as non-edible products. A considerable part of its success is attributable to the synergy of its effective marketing and its careful management of Intellectual Property. Almost anything can be a trademark if you indicate the source of your products and services. It can be a word, a slogan, a design, or a combination of these.
It can even be a sound, a scent, or a color. Unlike other types of trademarks, a certification mark is used by an authorized user, not the owner. As you can see, the type of brand you select has a big impact on the amount of protection you are provided with. Despite the fact, only a fraction of the population knows the exact purpose of a brand, and even fewer people can identify its general types.
Before reading this section, watch the following overview video that covers the four types of trademarks and what they are used for, the topic of trademarks, and why trademarks are important not only to their owners, but also to the general public.