question.jpgIn Trademarks

What is an arbitrary or fanciful mark?

There are several categories that are used in referring to a mark. One of these categories is known as “arbitrary or fanciful.” A mark that is arbitrary or fanciful has no connection with the goods or services it is used in connection with. Fanciful marks are made-up words that were invented strictly to be used as a trademark (such as KODAK). Arbitrary marks, meanwhile, are real words which are being used in a way that has nothing to do with their actual meaning (such as APPLE, for computers).

Arbitrary and fanciful marks are the strongest type of trademarks (as long as they are not confusingly similar to previous marks), and are given the broadest protection. In fact, because arbitrary or fanciful marks bare no connection to the underlying goods and services, they are considered inherently distinctive and the owner need not show that they have secondary meaning in order to be entitled to protect the mark.

In addition to arbitrary or fanciful marks, the other relevant categories of marks are suggestive marks, descriptive marks and generic marks.