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Frequently Asked Questions

What are indistinguishable or weak marks?

In the process of developing a trademark, it's crucial to avoid indistinguishable or weak marks. These include geographic marks, descriptive marks, and last names. Indistinguishable marks are those that are not unique or distinctive enough to identify a specific brand or company. They may be too similar to existing trademarks, making it difficult for consumers to associate them with your specific goods or services. On the other hand, weak marks are those that don’t inherently identify the source of goods or services. These include descriptive marks that merely describe a feature or quality of the product or service, geographic marks that simply indicate the location of the company, and surnames that are common and don’t uniquely identify the source of the goods or services. To register such a weak mark, you must first prove that consumers are familiar with the mark and associate it with your goods or services, thus granting it "secondary meaning." This means that although the mark is not inherently distinctive, it has acquired distinctiveness through its use in the market.

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