Trademarks and Distinctiveness by James Michael Faier, M.P.P.,M.B.A.,J.D. (USPTO Regn. No. 56,731)
In the more than 25-years in practice I have been asked to register many sorts of trademarks. I have then had the opportunity to see how the trademarks function in the marketplace. By far and away the most successful trademarks were distinctive and less descriptive. To me, a distinctive mark is a mark where there are no competitors that are similar in terms of sight, sound or commercial impression. Moreover, the mark is not descriptive of the any feature of the mark.
Looking at the marks I sought to register, I think the most descriptive mark I was asked to register was SELFSEAL for a self-sealing laminating envelopes. I have been told that marketers choose a descriptive mark because they do not have a budget sufficient to educate the consuming public on the product. In 2020, I think the solution is to choose a distinctive mark and then add generic descriptors that explain what the good or the service does. ###