They are not what they seem to be: Arbitrary trademarks

Jun 21, 2018 | Trademark Blog, Trademark Knowledge

So far we have discussed the kinds of trademarks: 

coined trademark; 

suggestive trademark

An arbitrary trademark consist of a  real word that has a meaning but the meaning itself, however, has no relation to the product itself or to any of its qualities that is why it is considered distinctive.

Some well-known examples are the following:



Coach Arbitrary Trademark
Blackberry Arbitrary Trademark
Dove Arbitrary Trademark
Virgin Arbitrary Trademark
Shell Arbitrary Trademark
Sprite Arbitrary Trademark
Tide Arbitrary Trademark
Camel Arbitrary cigarettes Trademark
GAP Arbitrary Trademark

Arbitrary trademarks don’t have the problem of creating from the ground up, since the chosen word already has meaning. All the company has to do is to make sure that people remember it. Arbitrary trademarks don’t have to suffer from being too “generic”, meaning it is not likely to be used as often. One disadvantage of choosing an arbitrary trademark is that other people might have already used them first. 

As you see, a lot of company’s reputation sits on its name, and branding has its role both in the trademark registration and trademark protection process



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