Trademarks help a customers recognize a company/brand. Registering one helps protect that mark from infringement!
Early in the year I discussed what a trademark is and some of the considerations of registering your mark. You can check that out here!
Today, I am going to do more in depth about some of the finer points!
What is a trademark?
Find a definition of a Trademark Here!
Essentially, it is a mark, slogan, design, or logo that represents your brand/ company to the world. It’s how you want people to recognize you!
Levels of Marks:
Not every “mark” is created the same!
There are 4 (or 5 depending how you categorize) levels that define a trademark.
- General (or generic)- You can’t use it. It is a common word describing the product or services. For example, if you product is a shoe, and you name your product “shoe,” then it is a generic term.
- Descriptive: it is a mark that describes the product. This one can be protected, however, it has so have secondary meaning. For example, Zatarain has a product called “fish fri.” It is a cornerstone case for Secondary Meaning. They established Secondary Meaning and where allowed to use the mark. Proving secondary meaning is pretty hard, so best to keep moving down!
- Suggestive: The mark suggest at what the product may be. It is a higher form of protection, and secondary meaning is not required. One example is Copper Tone sun screen. The name “suggest” that the product has to do something with the sun.
- and 5. Arbitrary or Fanciful- There is no connection between the word and the Product. An example of Fanciful is Brylett. Brylett is a made up word (a combination of my kids names) and has nothing to do with Digital Business Law. Arbitrary is one the word has a meaning, but it is not connected to the product. A common example is Apple.
What does this mean for me?
When you are deciding to start out on your Digital Business adventure, make sure that your Marks are ones that can be protected and ones that can be protected easily. Your attorney will thank you!
Check out more on Digital Business Law!
****Hey there sunshine! I just wanted to let you know that yes, I am an attorney, but I am NOT YOUR ATTORNEY. The information above does not put us in an attorney-client privilege contract type setting. Even though you are reading this, it doesn’t mean that I am giving you legal advice as an attorney.