Is My Trademark Unique Enough? - Daniel Ross & Associates

The purpose of having a trademark is to protect the intellectual property in your business – brands, names, logos, slogans, etc. Your brand is worth protecting, but the key to protection is that the brand must be unique enough

How to Ensure Your Trademark is Unique

Trademark law uses different classifications to determine the uniqueness of a potential trademark.

Generic and Descriptive Marks

As someone pursuing a trademark on your business, you want to steer clear of generic and descriptive terms in order to attain your trademark.

A generic term directly states the name of the product or service.
Descriptive terminology states a characteristic or quality of the product or service.

When is a Mark Protectable?

Marks are protectable when it falls within one of three categories of distinctiveness: suggestive, arbitrary, or fanciful.

A brand is suggestive when it suggests a quality or characteristic of the good or service provided, but still requires some imagination or creativity by the consumer to connect the trademark with what the actual service or good is.

An arbitrary mark uses real words which have no correlation to the good or service.

Fanciful marks are made-up words and are typically the most distinct and unique of all.

When considering the distinctiveness of your brand, keep in mind the doctrine of foreign equivalents, which requires a translation of non-English wording to English before the distinctiveness analysis takes place. So, for example, a trademark for “cerveza”, which is the Spanish word for beer, would be deemed generic for a brewing company trademark.

Learn More About Trademark Law

If you are applying for a trademark, ensure you’re on the right path with the attorneys at Daniel Ross & Associates. To schedule a free consultation to discuss how your trademark needs, please call (216) 307-5590, or get in touch using our online intake form.


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