Secondary Meaning

Secondary Meaning

A doctrine of trademark law that provides that protection is afforded to the user of an otherwise unprotectable mark when the mark, through advertising or other exposure, has come to signify that an item is produced or sponsored by that user.

Under trademark law a mark associated with a marketed product generally cannot receive full trademark protection unless it is distinctive. Trademark protection gives the holder of a mark the exclusive right to use that mark in connection with a product.

Full trademark protection is given when the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office places the mark on the principal register of trademarks. Suggestive, Arbitrary, and fanciful marks distinguish a product from other products, so they automatically qualify for the principal register. Descriptive and generic marks ordinarily do not qualify for the principal register. A person may not, for example, claim the right to the word "fine" in connection with a product because the word is merely descriptive. A descriptive or generic mark may, however, be placed on the supplemental register, which gives the holder of the mark a certain measure of trademark protection. If the mark acquires a secondary meaning after five years of continuous, exclusive use on the market, the mark may be placed on the principal register (15 U.S.C.A. § 1052(f)).

A descriptive or generic mark attains a secondary meaning if the producer so effectively markets the product with the mark that consumers come to immediately associate the mark with only that producer of that particular kind of goods. To illustrate, assume that an apple grower markets red apples under the term "Acme." Because the term is generic, it would not qualify for full trademark protection at first. If, however, customers immediately recognize Acme apples as the apples produced by that grower, after five years the producer may prevent all others from using the mark "Acme" in connection with red apples.

Under 15 U.S.C.A. § 1052(a)–(d), (f), immoral or scandalous marks, national symbols, and names of living figures cannot acquire trademark protection, even through secondary meaning. Surnames generally are not given trademark protection, but a surname may qualify for protection if it acquires a secondary meaning (Ex parte Rivera Watch Corp., 106 U.S.P.Q. 145, 1955 WL 6450 [Com'r 1955]).

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proof of secondary meaning before registering them as standard character
That immediately took on a secondary meaning, a sexual connotation.
In the area of intellectual property, she has focused on survey research and analysis related to trademarks, patents, and false advertising including surveys to establish likelihood of confusion, secondary meaning, and dilution.
distinct or has acquired distinctiveness through secondary meaning.
Topics covered by the more than 30 chapters include secondary meaning, likelihood of confusion and territorial extent of trademark rights, as well as literary, artistic and entertainment rights.
30) Descriptive terms do not initially signal source, so significance to consumers, "secondary meaning" or "acquired distinctiveness," must be developed2' For example, a term like TASTY for apples describes a characteristic of the goods sold, and is thus merely descriptive and unprotectable until the TASTY mark acquires secondary meaning, that is, until consumers come to interpret the mark as a designation of the source of the apples sold under the mark.
The design's stipulations were that the "symbol must be readily identifiable from a reasonable distance; must be self-descriptive, must be simple yet esthetically designed with no secondary meaning, and must be practical.
The underlying reason for deriving boy from a word meaning 'fetter' probably lay in the secondary meaning of boy, which is 'servant, slave'.
invest significant sums and time in developing secondary meaning out of
Readers are assumed to have some knowledge of corpus linguistics and at least a hazy knowledge of metaphor, connotations, and other secondary meaning.
This step could be performed as part of Step 3, but for reasons of clarity we treat it separately; during this step, the students basically narrow the analysis by drawing structural cognitive relations between the elements of the previously identified frame with the aim of finding possible secondary meaning categories within the frame.
In the 19th century the "irony mark," a small, elevated, backward-facing question mark, was proposed to signify that a sentence has a secondary meaning, such as irony or sarcasm.

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