What Names Are Protectable Under Trademark Law?There are varying degrees of protection for trademarks:
- Fanciful: A made up name has the greatest level of protection because it is unique to your product. This is seen often with prescription drugs such as Lipitor or Xanax.
- Arbitrary: The next highest level of protection lies with arbitrary names. These are names that have a meaning that is not associated with the business or product being sold. This includes trademarks such as Amazon, Random House and Coach.
- Suggestive: Names that suggest the type of business can also be protected. For example, Netflix for online movie rentals or Word for word processing software.
- Descriptive with acquired distinctiveness: Descriptive trademarks are often difficult to protect, unless the trademark has developed its own distinctiveness. One example of this is the brand PLAY-DOH that has vigorously worked to protect its name and has acquired a distinctive name in the marketplace.
The lawyers at McClanahan Powers, PLLC, can help you with trademark protection in the Virginia and Washington, D.C. areas. Attorneys at the firm provide skilled representation and knowledgeable advice regarding all aspects of your intellectual property and brand.
Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB)Attorneys at the firm protect clients' trademarks in actions before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB). The TTAB is an administrative board that handles adversary proceedings involving trademarks. This includes oppositions during registration, where a party opposes the registration of a mark after notice has been published in the Official Gazette. The TTAB also hears matters involving:
- Cancellations of existing trademarks
- Trademark interference and concurrent use issues