Trademark Lawyers: Types of Trademarks

According to the US Patents and Trademarks Office (USPTO), the number of active trademark registrations has gone up by approximately 80,000 from 2009 to 2010. With more and more business identities seeking protection for their intellectual property rights, trademark lawyers are very much in business. Not only can proficient trademark lawyers help you through the registration process, they can provide suitable pre registration guidance as well. For example, if you are still contemplating on the trademark nomenclature, trademark lawyers could provide valuable inputs for the same.

Understanding Trademarks with Trademark Lawyers
Your trademark lawyers would be the right people to explain the various categories of marks commonly used, and the ones preferred for trouble free registration. For some basic definitions, given below are the types of trademarks:

Descriptive Marks: These are the ones which describe the products or services offered. For example, something like “honey coated flakes” would be a descriptive trademark. Normally, trademark lawyers could advice you against these, because one descriptive trademark could bear similarities with various others catering to the same product category. However, entrepreneurs are sometimes prepared to brave the difficulties because of the advertising advantages associated with such descriptive connotations.

Suggestive Marks: Suggestive trademarks are the ones which make an indirect reference to the products and services. For example, something like “Quick Bites” could be used for a snacking item, “Jaguar” for an automobile brand, “Leg Ins” for an apparel manufacturing company and so on. These are more preferred choices with respect to uniqueness when compared to descriptive marks.

Arbitrary Marks: Arbitrary trademarks could be highly preferred for protection purposes. These are commonly used English words which can be used for unrelated products. For example, “Apple” for computers is what an arbitrary trademark is. However, the concept would change with respect to the products they represent. For example, the mark “apple” when used for a fruit exporter, would become a descriptive trademark.

Obscure and Fanciful: These trademarks would provide for the maximum possible protection since they are basically unique words which have no meaning. They are created by business entrepreneurs and the brand becomes their identity. Classic examples of fanciful trademarks would be “Xerox” and “Oreo”. While the former has nothing to do with photocopying, the latter is completely unrelated to the biscuits it is a trademark for. However, they have gone on to become generic terms replacing the actual products in the process.