Types of Trademarks USPTO: All You Need to Know
Check out these trademark types and learn about their differences.3 min read
Types of trademarks USPTO registers include the ones listed below:
- Design mark
- Color mark
- Shape mark
- Sound mark
- Scent or flavor mark
- Motion mark
- Collective membership mark
- Certification mark
A wordmark includes drawings and standard characters. Every letter or word in such a mark is in Latin characters, while every number is in Arabic or Roman figures. Such a mark also includes only regular punctuation or phonetic signs without any element of design. The numbers and alphabets are not stylishly made. Some examples of a wordmark are the following:
- Ski Doo®
- The Michelin Man®
- The Nike Swoosh®
A design mark is an artistically created wording or design. The digital format of such an image must be .jpg. It must also be between 300 and 350 dpi (dots per inch), with a length and width between 250 and 944 pixels. It must be a sharp, clean, and solid image, not crowded or blurry. Its picture quality must be high when copied.
A color mark requires the applicant to turn in indisputable evidence of acquired distinctiveness. Color marks should be shown in color drawings because they're visual. Such drawings should be accompanied by a color claim listing the color(s) that characterize(s) the mark. There should also be a statement clearly stating the role(s) of the color(s) in the mark. The general name(s) of the color(s) should be used in the location statement and color claim.
A shape mark is a three-dimensional shape, configuration, or design of a product or a product's container. The applicant has to clearly illustrate the mark and indicate that it's a three-dimensional image. Some examples of a shape mark are the following:
- The shape of the Coca-cola bottle
- The shape of a column
- The shape of a pencil
- The shape of a roof vent
A sound mark requires the applicant to turn in an audio file in the following formats:
Such an audio file shouldn't be greater than 5 megabytes. Furthermore, the applicants should describe the sound and its lyrics (if any) in detail.
Scent or Flavor Mark
A scent or flavor mark requires the applicant to turn in any undeniable evidence of acquired distinctiveness, a document describing the scent or flavor in detail, and a sample that has the exact scent or flavor.
A touch mark has to be graphically represented.
A motion mark requires an applicant to submit a graphic illustration showing one to five still picture frames portraying various points of the movement that adequately convey the commercial concept of the mark.
Collective Membership Mark
A collective membership mark is used by an association, members of a cooperative, or some other kind of organization or group.
A certification mark is any symbol, name, word, or device used by an entity to attest to the quality of service or goods of another entity. A certification mark can apply to material, region, origin, mode of manufacture, accuracy, quality, or any other feature of the goods or services of the entity the certification encompasses. Some examples of a certification mark are the following:
- The Easter Seal Society®
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) organizes services and products according to specific classes. If your business covers more than one product or service and you desire to acquire a trademark that covers them all in their various classes, you can. You'll only have to pay extra fees for each extra class.
Symbols for Registered and Unregistered Trademarks
Be aware that trademarks registered with the USPTO come with the right to use the symbol of registration, which is ®, while unregistered trademarks that are in wide use in the market and are consequently recognized and protected by common law have the right to use the sign TM.
Goods vs. Services
A trademark is considered to be in use with goods if it is noticeably marked on the goods or on their packages or is identified with the goods in any other way before they're transferred to a user in a transaction. On the other hand, a trademark is said to be in use with services if it is displayed in the advertisement for the services or during a performance of the services.
If you need help with the types of trademarks the USPTO registers, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel's marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies such as Google, Stripe, and Twilio.