There are a few different kinds of trademarks that you can apply to register with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). In general, a trademark protects a word, symbol, slogan, logo, design, or combination of those elements that represent a source of goods or services. Specifically, there are 5 different types of trademarks, and it can be challenging to determine which one best fits your needs. Here at Thompson Patent Law, we have over 20 years of experience helping thousands of clients with trademarks in small businesses, large corporations, and everything in between. We have the experience and expertise to help you find the type of trademark best suited to your needs and will lead you through the trademark application process. Call Thompson Patent Law at (512) 649-1046 to get started registering your trademarks today.
What are the 5 Types of Trademarks?
United States trademarks fall into 5 categories. The first is the generic trademark, which is something not specific to a certain business, but a general product or service, like “Hair Salon.” The second is a descriptive mark, which identifies characteristics of a product or service and is recognized by consumers who identify it with the brand. The third type of trademark is the fanciful mark, which is a term, name, or logo that is entirely unique and did not exist before. For example, a made-up word like “Verizon” or “Advil” that has no other meaning would be considered a fanciful mark. The fourth type of mark is the suggestive mark, which implies something good about the product or service that the consumer must intuit. For example, “Coppertone” is a suggestive mark for suntan lotion, Finally, the fifth type of trademark is the arbitrary mark. This is a mark that has an accepted meaning but that is being used outside that accepted meaning: for example “Hint” as the name of a flavored water brand.
Which Types are Easiest to Trademark?
Every trademark application is individual and specific to the applicant’s product or service, but, in general, fanciful marks are easiest to trademark because they are newly-minted words that have no other meaning and have never existed before, let alone been used as trademarks. There is only one meaning for “Tylenol,” or “Google,” or “iPhone.” Arbitrary marks can also be strong trademarks that are less difficult to register because while the word may be common, its usage is not. We all know the words “Apple” and “Jaguar” in their common meanings as fruit and an animal, but their uses to represent a computer company and a carmaker are entirely unique and recognizable.
Do I Need an Attorney to Help Me Apply for Trademarks?
The process of researching and applying for a trademark can be tedious and time-consuming, and the application process may require expert advice. Even the United States Patent and Trademark Office “Strongly encourages” trademark filers to hire licensed attorneys specializing in trademark law to assist with their applications. The experienced trademark attorneys at Thompson Patent Law fit that description perfectly. Call us today at (512) 649-1046 to get started on registering your trademark.