How Does A Trademark Acquire Secondary Meaning?
A trademark acquires secondary meaning when the consuming public primarily associates the trademark with the source of the goods or services rather than the goods or services themselves. This typically occurs through extensive and exclusive use of the trademark in the marketplace over a significant period of time. Additionally, advertising and promotional efforts can also contribute to the development of secondary meaning. Once a trademark has acquired secondary meaning, the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) may approve registration on the Principal Register whereby the trademark will be entitled to a broad scope of protection.
Achieving secondary meaning in a non-distinctive mark can be challenging. Examples of non-distinctive marks include descriptive terms, personal names, geographically descriptive terms, laudatory terms, slogans, trade dress, or even colors.
Requirements for Establishing Secondary Meaning
There are several requirements that must be met in order to establish secondary meaning in a trademark:
The standard for establishing secondary meaning is high and requires a showing of a high degree of consumer recognition and association of the mark with the source of the goods or services.