Word Marks Classification
Here’s the classification in order of their protection. We’ll start from the most protected and then straight down to the least.
The Fanciful MarksThese are also called coined trademarks. These trademarks are made up and have no association whatsoever to the product line of the business. Once a name is registered under this category, it would have a high level of protection.
This prevents your name from being used by infringers that are trying to profit from your mark, and in case someone infringes on your trademark, they already find themselves at the risk of losing the lawsuit in court. This is because infringers have a hard time giving a plausible explanation for their use of your name.
Exxon, Linux, Kodak, Cisco, Unilever, FUBU etc. are examples of names that fall under this category. Good luck explaining to the court how you came up with those names in case you*re caught infringing on their mark.
Arbitrary MarksArbitrary marks are trademarks having a common name with a common meaning, but whose meanings are completely unrelated to the services they offer.
Examples include Shell (oil company), Apple (computer manufacturer), Amazon (electronic commerce and cloud computing company), Puma (footwear manufacturer), Dove (personal care brand), etc.
Suggestive MarksThese trademarks are marks having a name or term that does not specifically describe the product line of a company, but rather requires the imagination, thought or perception of the consumer to reach a conclusion on the nature of their products.
Examples include Coppertone (brand name for an American sunscreen), and Chicken of the Sea (popular brand of tuna). There are no words that say sunscreen or tuna in the names of those brands.
Descriptive MarksThese trademarks immediately describe the product line of the company without requiring much thought. These means that customers would not have a hard time associating these words with the product offering of the brand. These marks contain words that describe the features and quality the products and services of a company.
Best Buy, Air France and Sharp are examples of trademarks that fall under this category.