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What Can You Trademark

4 Things You Can Trademark (Other Than a Logo, Name or Slogan)

Joshua Julien Brouard

Joshua Julien Brouard

13 September 20233 min read

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What can you trademark

Registered trademarks are meant to protect and distinguish your brand's unique identity.

So, it makes sense that there are other things you can trademark aside from your logo, name, or slogan.

That's why we've compiled this list, to help you understand the extent of protection that federal protection can offer you. And remember that while an unregistered trademark offers some degree of protection, it's not as comprehensive.

Without further delay, let's start exploring what can be federally trademarked:

1. You can trademark colors

Have you ever wondered why some of us get excited when we tear back the corner of wrapping paper and see that famous trademarked Tiffany blue?

This is because customers recognize specific colors that are associated with a brand. 

(Well, Tiffany Blue = fine jewelry and quite possibly diamonds? )

This is why the act of trademarking a color (referred to as a "trade dress" in trademark law) is quite popular among many high-profile brands.

Don't get too excited and rush to trademark a color, though.

Remember, you must have proof that your specific color distinguishes your brand from competitors in your industry.

(Just like Tiffany's blue does so well)

So, does your company want to be known for a specific color? If so, what color distinguishes your brand? 

Register with the Patent and Trademark Office using the trusted services of a qualified trademark attorney. 

(P.S — We let you do your trademark registration online: So you can register your intellectual property from the comfort of your own home!)

2. Trademark product packing designs

Coca-Cola's classic bottle is an example of a trademarked product packaging shape.

The bottle's iconic shape identifies and distinguishes the brand so well that even if you held the bottle in the dark, you would know it was Coca-Cola.

For this strong brand recognition gained by the mere shape of the bottle alone, Coca-Cola was not willing to give up its bottle's hourglass figure.

The brand sought and obtained a federal trademark registration for its iconic bottle shape in 1960, thus permitting the soda company to protect its bottle design indefinitely.

Do you have a unique product packaging shape that makes your product stand out? If so, think about filing a trademark.

And if your product packaging shape serves a functional purpose, you should file a patent to protect its shape.

3. How can you trademark a sound?

The anticipation of home movie night is often enjoyed by popping popcorn, cozying up in pajamas, and the iconic sound of 20th Century Fox fanfare playing as the TV screen lays a light blue glow amidst your face.

Recognize this tune?

This Fox fanfare is so uniquely memorable that many automatically associate the grandiose musical harmony with movie night and the Fox brand specifically.

This type of sound — the musical notes that bring a certain delightful nostalgia to consumers about a particular brand — is likely eligible for trademark protection.

Think you might need to trademark a unique sound

4. Have you heard of "motion marks"?

Even if you've researched what can be trademarked, you probably have yet to hear about motion trademark rights.

They may also be referred to as "movement marks."

These lesser-known marks are distinguished by movement or change of the position of the mark's elements. This may also include a sequence of still images that depict motion.

It could even be a short video or animation that represents your brand.

If you have something like this, start your trademark application today.

Protect every distinguishing element of your brand identity

As you can see, the Trademark Office affords comprehensive brand protection for business owners interested in maintaining the image and integrity of their business. While trademark infringement can cost the business valuable customer credibility and image, there are at least resolutions, either by filing a cease and desist or claiming damages.

So, even if a sound is the only thing that distinguishes your brand, it's worth getting federal protection and reaching out to a trademark registration service

Did you know that you can trademark NFTs? Learn more on our blog. 


FAQs

What cannot be trademarked?

I think it's best to refer to the United States Patent and Trademark Office's website to get a detailed answer to what cannot be trademarked. There are particular guidelines as to what can and can't be trademarked. As a rule of thumb, however, you won't be able to register a trademark that could be considered confusingly similar to another mark.

Can I trademark a common word?

Technically, yes, you can get trademark protection for a common word. However, you won't be able to trademark a word that precisely relates to your product. For example, you couldn't trademark "coconut" for a coconut store.

What is the difference between copyright and trademark?

While trademarks offer legal protection for distinguishing features of your business, copyrights protect various creative works, such as music, movies, and books.

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Joshua J. Brouard brings a rich and varied background to his writing endeavors. With a bachelor of commerce degree and a major in law, he possesses an affinity for tackling business-related challenges. His first writing position at a startup proved instrumental in cultivating his robust business acumen, given his integral role in steering the company's expansion. Complementing this is his extensive track record of producing content across diverse domains for various digital marketing agencies.