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Author Topic: Generic words and trademarks  (Read 827 times)

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Offline advdesai

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Generic words and trademarks
« on: September 10, 2013, 02:33:15 AM »
In assessing their suitability as trademarks, words can be divided into five categories. These categories range from fanciful, invented words, which are typically strong trademarks, to generic terms, which are not protectable at all. The stronger the mark, the more protection it will be given against other marks.

The categories, ranked in decreasing order in terms of strength, are:

a. Fanciful Marksócoined (made-up) words that have no relation to the goods being described (e.g., EXXON for petroleum products).

b. Arbitrary Marksóexisting words that contribute no meaning to the goods being described (e.g., APPLE for computers).

c. Suggestive Marksówords that suggest meaning or relation but that do not describe the goods themselves (e.g., COPPERTONE for suntan lotion).

d. Descriptive Marksómarks that describe either the goods or a characteristic of the goods. Often it is very difficult to enforce trademark rights for descriptive marks unless the mark has acquired a secondary meaning (e.g., SHOELAND for a shoe store).

e. Generic Termsówords that are the accepted and recognized description of a class of goods or services (e.g., computer software, facial tissue).
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