Thursday, October 29, 2009

Various Kinds Of Trademarks

By Margaret Brown

The term trademark stands for certain logos or texts that differentiate the products of one firm from the other. The main objective of trademarks is to make sure that the consumers are not under any confusion with respect to the origin of the product.

A trademark must be unique and remarkably distinct for the customers to identify it easily even amongst a crowd of similar goods in the market. The uniqueness of a trademark can be assessed by placing it in one of the trademark classifications - suggestive, descriptive, generic and arbitrary.

A descriptive mark is representative of the essential quality or some other characteristics of the product like its function or form. However, marks that are descriptive are not as unique as some other marks and therefore, they are not normally capable of being trademarked. however, if the mark has acquired a secondary meaning that is more popular among the consumers, it can be successfully trademarked.

Suggestive marks are indicators towards a certain product feature or quality. However, consumers might have to use their imagination to identify the real relationship between the product and the mark as there is no evident connection between the two. For instance, footwear named 'Hush Puppies' are suggestive of cosy shoes, which make sure that your feet do not become sore. The creative reason behind such a name is that the problem of sore feet is known as 'barking dogs' in certain American states.

Fanciful marks on the other hand have no relationship whatsoever with the any quality or feature of the product. For instance, the use of the mark 'Apple' for computers is entirely disconnected from the product. Similarly, arbitrary marks are those that come from the creative mind of certain people or come from old languages like Latin and Greek.

Finally, generic marks are those that represent a general category of the item such as 'olive oil', and they cannot be granted any protection under trademark laws.

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