A trademark is a word, name, symbol, or device that is used in trade with goods and services to indication the source of the goods and services and to distinguish them from the goods and services of others. The word, name, symbol, or device is referred to as a mark.
Trademark rights may be used to prevent others from using a confusingly similar mark in trade with the same or similar goods and services. As such, trademark rights prevent others from benefiting from the good will that has been developed over time in a mark.
A trademark must be distinctive. The four categories of trademarks, from the strongest to the weakest in terms of being distinctive and protectable, are arbitrary and fanciful, suggestive, descriptive, and generic.
Arbitrary and fanciful marks are invented terms that bear no relationship to their corresponding goods and/services. Arbitrary and fanciful marks are inherently distinctive and are given a very high level of protection.
Suggestive marks refer to a specific characteristic of their corresponding goods and services. Suggestive marks do no specifically describe their goods and services thereby requiring the consumer to use his or her imagination to understand the reference. Suggestive marks are considered distinctive and are given protection.
Descriptive marks directly describe their corresponding goods and services or some important characteristic of those goods and services. Descriptive marks are not protectable. An exception to this lack or protection is if the descriptive mark acquires secondary meaning, secondary meaning being present when the consuming public primarily associates the mark with a producer rather than the underlying goods and services.
Generic marks describe the general category of the corresponding goods and services. A generic mark is not entitled to protection.
John C. Laurence Law, PLLC can help evaluate a proposed mark and can file and prosecute a trademark application for that mark, as generally described below. We can also enforce your mark against infringement of the mark. Contact me today at 917-612-1059 to schedule a free consultation.
Trademark Application Process
Generate identification of associated goods and services
Review trademark application filing proposal
Electronically file trademark application
Monitor and prosecute trademark application
John C. Laurence Law, PLLC
New York, NY
917 612 1059
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