Informational Perhaps, But Not a Trademark!

Sean D. Detweiler (SDD)One area of trademark law that continuously puzzles people is the tension between having a word or phrase associated with a product or service that is “informational” in that it immediately conveys to the consumer exactly what the product or service is, verses a word or phrase that may be more suggestive, arbitrary, or fanciful. The former does not acquire trademark rights and is not registerable if it is descriptive, while the latter will have an easier time acquiring trademark rights and is more likely to be registerable. In his article Informational Perhaps, But Not a Trademark!, trademark and patent attorney Sean Detweiler expounds on how a recent Wal-Mart case sheds light on this concept.

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