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Descriptive Mark:

A mark is considered merely descriptive if it describes an ingredient, quality, characteristic, function, feature, purpose or use of the specified goods or services. If a mark is merely descriptive or deceptively misdescriptive of the goods or services to which it relates, the mark will be refused registration on the Principal Register under §2(e)(1) of the Trademark Act, 15 U.S.C. §1052(e)(1). Examples of descriptive marks include: MEDICAL GUIDE for website services featuring medical guides, DENIM for jeans, and SPICY SAUCE for salsa.

Design Code Search Manual:

Lists the numerical codes for searching designs in the USPTO’s trademark database.

Distinctive Mark:

If the product design is not functional, the mark may be registered on the Supplemental Register, or, if the applicant shows that the product design has acquired distinctiveness, on the Principal Register under §2(f).


For years state anti-dilution statutes have provided causes of action to protect distinctive marks from encroachment, notwithstanding an absence of competition or the absence of confusion as to the source of goods or service. Now there is a federal dilution stature as well. Dilution is limited to famous marks and provides a basis for obtaining injunctive relief. Dilution protects against a proliferation of similar marks on unrelated goods or services. One can bring a dilution action regardless of lack of competition or likelihood of confusion.

Domain Name:

The names and words that companies designate for their registered Internet Web site addresses. Trademark disputes arise when more than one company tries to use the same domain name, or one company appropriates another company’s brand or product name for its URL. As a general rule, the courts seem willing to force a domain name owner to pick another name if it conflicts with an existing trademark.


A drawing is the representation of a trademark as used on or in connection with the goods and comprises part of the trademark application. Drawings must be made with pen and ink or by a process that will produce high definition on reproduction. There are two types of drawings commonly used in trademark applications: typed drawings and computer-generated drawings. Typed drawings are always in all-capital letters. Computer drawings show the mark as it appears on a specimen, or show the mark in some stylized form or design. Typed drawings are generally preferable since they are easier to prepare and cover all forms of the mark. Generic names or descriptive terms are usually deleted. Color is optional and is shown by the use of coded line drawings.