Spectrum of distinctiveness

INHERENTLY DISTINCTIVE

FANCIFUL (COINED):

  • VERIZON for communications services
  • KODAK for cameras

ARBITRARY:

  • APPLE for computers
  • CAMEL for cigarettes

SUGGESTIVE:

  • ROACH MOTEL for boxes that attract and kill roaches
  • GLASS DOCTOR for auto glass repair services
  • COPPERTONE for suntan lotion

NEED ACQUIRED DISTINCTIVENESS (SECONDARY MEANING)

MERELY DESCRIPTIVE:

  • CAR FRESHNER for auto interior freshener
  • COMPUTERLAND for computer store

PRIMARILY MERELY A SURNAME:

  • MCDONALDS for restaurants

PRIMARILY GEOGRAPHICALLY DESCRIPTIVE:

  • CAROLINA APPAREL for clothing stores in North Carolina

COLOR AS MARK

  • Green-gold dry cleaning pads (Qualitex)

PRODUCT DESIGN TRADE DRESS (PRODUCT CONFIGURATION)

  • Seersucker clothing (Samara Bros.)

PRODUCT PACKAGING TRADE DRESS THAT LACKS SECONDARY MEANING

  • Note that per Two Pesos, product packaging can be inherently distinctive (see Seabrook and Abercrombie for tests), but if the packaging lacks inherent distinctiveness, then secondary meaning must be shown.

INCAPABLE OF BEING A TRADEMARK

GENERIC TERMS:

  • Always generic: BEER for beer
  • Became generic: CELLOPHONE for transparent wrapping material

FUNCTIONAL MARKS

  • LATHER, RINSE, REPEAT for shampoo

FUNCTIONAL TRADE DRESS

  • A two-spring design for a sign (TrafFix)

FOR OTHER TYPES, see 15 U.S.C. 1052

Revised June 14, 2017