The Five Types of Trademarks - Worth Millions to Worthless
The more distinct and creative your trademark is, the more protection trademark law provides it with.
Trademark brand names come in all different forms, however, while some are worth millions, others have lost all value or never had any to begin with.
WHAT TYPES OF TRADEMARKS CAN BE REGISTERED?
Fanciful, arbitrary, and suggestive trademarks can be registered upon first use in commerce and can be reserved with an intent to use trademark application.
Descriptive trademarks cannot be registered without a showing of acquired distinctiveness, also known as secondary meaning.
Generic trademarks are never eligible for registration and are therefore not discussed here.
WHAT IS A FANCIFUL TRADEMARK?
A fanciful trademark consists of a made up word(s) and is therefore considered the most distinct type of trademark and offered the most protection under trademark law.
WHAT IS AN ARBITRARY TRADEMARK?
Arbitrary trademarks contains actual words, but are arbitrary in nature and have nothing to do with the goods or services that they represent.
WHAT IS A SUGGESTIVE TRADEMARK?
A suggestive trademark requires people to make a mental connection between the mark and the goods or services that they represent, without describing any qualities or characteristics of the product.
WHAT IS A DESCRIPTIVE TRADEMARK?
A descriptive trademark describes a product or service or some quality or characteristic of it.
Descriptive trademarks present unique challenges and are not recommended if you are just starting out and can select a stronger type of trademark.
WHAT TYPE OF TRADEMARK IS BEST FOR ME?
A fanciful trademark always presents the lowest possible chance of there being a likelihood of confusion with another trademark. As a result, fanciful trademarks tend to have an easier path toward registration.
Every brand should be evaluated on its own, as no two trademarks are the same.