The importance of distinctiveness in trademark law

by | May 24, 2021 | Uncategorized

It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to build your business from the ground up. You want to protect that work and ensure that you’re doing everything you can to give yourself a leg up on the competition. There are a number of ways to do this, of course, but you shouldn’t overlook the importance of trademark protection. After all, your source-identifying marks can be key in building your brand awareness, name recognition, and reputation.

Know how distinctiveness affects your mark

Not every logo, slogan, or other source-identifying mark is protectable under federal law. That’s why it’s important to know about distinctiveness and how it might play into your circumstances.

Those marks that are the easiest to protect are those that are fanciful. This means that they are not use in everyday life but are instead created for the sole purpose of identifying the goods or services. Think of Nike and Pepsi of examples of these marks.

Arbitrary marks are also easier to protect. These marks utilize words and phrases that are commonly used in every day life, but they have acquired a source-identifying function and don’t describe anything about the goods or services at hand. Apple computers is the best example here.

Suggestive marks are a little more difficult to protect. These marks require some sort of thought or imagination to reach a conclusion about the goods or services in play. However, if the mark merely describes the product, then it likely won’t receive any protection. That’s why a lot of businesses that use these marks try to create incongruity, meaning two terms that don’t really belong together, like Urban Safari.

Protect your business and your interests

Trademark registration, protection, and litigation can be pretty complicated. It takes a firm understanding of the law to be able to appropriately navigate the system and ensure that your business interests are protected, which is why if you’re dealing with trademark issues then you might want to consider working with an attorney who is experienced in this area of the law.