What Can Be Trademarked?
As the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) defines it, a trademark is any word, phrase, symbol, design, or a combination of these things can be trademarked as long as the word, phrase, symbol, or design identifies the source of the goods and/or services in order to distinguish them from the goods and/or services of another. Under Trademark Law, practically anything can be registered as a trademark, as long as it identifies the source of good and/or services, and is used in commerce. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) can register a wide variety of trademarks, as long as they meet certain legal requirements. Some of the types of marks that can be registered with the USPTO include:
The mark must be used in commerce and must be distinctive. Generally, the trademark must be either arbitrary or fanciful, or have acquired secondary meaning if it is descriptive (or a surname). Additionally, the trademark should not be too similar to an existing trademark (pending or registered), should not be too descriptive, or should not be primarily geographically descriptive.
Additionally, the trademark must not be scandalous, immoral, or disparaging, and it must not be primarily geographically descriptive or deceptively misdescriptive of the goods or services it is used to identify.