A trademark is anything used to identify the source of a product or service, including a word, phrase, slogan, logo, color, smell, sound, shape, package design, or combination of these. The term “brand” is generally used to refer to all types of trademarks, including service marks. For word marks, only words that are considered “distinctive” in relation to the goods or services for which they are issued are protected as trademarks. Word marks can be inherently distinctive, or they can acquire distinctive character through use.
The “Spectrum of Distinctiveness” helps describe the strength of marks (including proposed word marks) in U, S. The spectrum ranges from a “generic wording” (which can never be protected as a brand) to a “flamboyant expression” (which can be protected as a brand from the start). Spectrum also informs the extent of protection afforded to a brand. In general, the higher a brand is in the spectrum, the stronger it will be in terms of the owner's ability to assert its rights against the use of similar marks by third parties.
A “generic” word is the common name of the product or service. Generic words or phrases are so descriptive that they are unable to function as a brand. A descriptive word (or words) simply describes an ingredient, quality, function, characteristic, characteristic, characteristic, purpose, or use of the product or service. Also in this category are laudatory terms, geographical designations and surnames.
A descriptive word is not “inherently distinctive” and therefore cannot be protected as a brand from the start. However, such wording may acquire a distinctive character (also known as “secondary meaning”) over time through use and promotion, and thus become a protected trademark. Even when protected, descriptive marks often have the narrowest scope of protection against use by third parties. A “suggestive” brand suggests a quality or characteristic of the product or service, but requires imagination, thought or perception to connect the brand to the product and the service.
Brands in this category are inherently distinctive, but it's often difficult to predict whether certain words will be considered suggestive or descriptive. Suggestive marks have a wider scope of protection than descriptive marks. An “arbitrary” mark has a common meaning that has no relation to the product or service in which it is used. It is a well-known word that is used in an unexpected or unusual way.
Brands in this category are also intrinsically distinctive and are afforded a wide scope of protection. A “fantasy” or “coined” brand is invented, and it doesn't make sense. It's a completely invented word. Brands in this category are inherently distinctive.
Because of their distinctive character, flamboyant brands generally have the broadest scope of protection against the use of third parties. By sending this email, you confirm that you have read, understood and agree to the terms contained herein. Extravagant marks (sometimes referred to as “minted marks”) consist of words that did not exist before they were used as a trademark. These are the best types of trademarks, and we always advise customers to try to fall into this group when selecting a brand.
Two examples of imaginative or coined brands are KODAK and XEROX; both didn't make sense before those companies were formed. The sole purpose of these words is to identify your brand's product, lending credence to the claim that fanciful brands are the strongest. In other words, that the general public can see the word KODAK and will have no connection with anything other than the Kodak company. Ideally, when choosing a new brand, you select a brand that is inherently distinctive.
The strongest types of trademarks are (imaginative or coined brands, such as EXXON for petroleum products) and (arbitrary brands), such as AMAZON for retail services. Arbitrary marks receive the same level of protection as fanciful marks and do not require secondary meaning to achieve protection. Therefore, classifying brands across the spectrum of trademark distinguishing features is a useful exercise in determining at which end of the spectrum the trademark is located. Secondary meaning is achieved when the consumer audience comes to recognize the brand as an indication of the source.
If a brand is not distinctive, it could cause confusion in the minds of consumers and mislead them as to the origin of the product or service it represents. Some European countries have a less strict view of what is considered a descriptive mark and, if necessary, the amount of evidence to prove the distinction acquired would be limited to one country and would be less voluminous. In some cases, a trademark that is not the generic term of a product becomes the generic term for that product. For example, the BRILLIANT brand may be descriptive for diamonds, suggestive for furniture polishing, and arbitrary for canned applesauce.
Fundamentally, the brand doesn't just describe the service; instead, consumers must take a leap of logic to connect the intended meaning of the brand with Twitter services. An example of an extravagant brand is Xerox, because the word didn't exist before the owner used the brand. For this measure, the trademark office often also looks for incongruity as a reference point to distinguish between descriptive and suggestive. Your marketing manager wants an easy-to-remember trademark that quickly conveys the points of sale of the product or service.
As defined by Abercrombie, suggestive brands require imagination, thought and perception to reach a conclusion as to the nature of the products the brand represents. . .