Everything You Must Know before Choosing Suggestive Trademarks

Assessing the strength of your trademark is one of the most critical actions you must make before applying for trademark registration in the UAE. The strength of a trademark has a direct impact on the performance of your trademark in the market as well as the scope of legal protection. For example, fanciful and arbitrary trademarks offer the highest form of legal protection for your trademark while generic and descriptive are the least.

On the contrary, a suggestive trademark is a sort of middle ground compared to arbitrary and fanciful trademarks. Even though it offers less extensive protection compared to a fanciful or arbitrary trademark, a suggestive trademark serves as a good alternative for brand owners wishing to register a trademark in the UAE. Moreover, some of the globally recognised brands such as Netflix use suggestive trademarks.

Trademark agents in the UAE can help you assess the strength of your proposed mark before submitting the application to the Trademark Office. Read ahead to learn more about choosing a suggestive trademark as your brand name:

What is a suggestive trademark?

A suggestive trademark is composed of words that suggest or hint at the nature of a product or service or any of its attributes without describing the product or service. A suggestive trademark has a certain association with the product or service in question but the connection is not immediately clear. Consumers have to rely on their imagination to make the mental connection between trademark and brand.

However, unlike an arbitrary or fanciful trademark, consumers require less education to guess the brand owner. For example, the words MICRO and ‘SOFT’ in MICROSOFT suggest the product is software designed for small companies. On the contrary, consumers need to be educated through means like an advertisement to guess the trademark APPLE (arbitrary trademark) represents computer products or ROLEX (fanciful trademark) represents watch products.

Are suggestive trademarks distinctive?

Irrespective of how much imagination is required for the public to establish a mental connection, suggestive trademarks are considered inherently distinctive. It means their first use in commerce would inform the consumers that the trademark is a source identifier rather than a mark that merely describes a product or service.  Since they are inherently distinctive, suggestive trademarks qualify to be registered in the UAE or any other jurisdiction.

Descriptive Vs Suggestive Trademarks

Brand owners may think the descriptive and suggestive trademarks to be the same as they both employ terms relating to the product’s characteristics or intended use. However, both are starkly different in terms of definition and level of protection. Some of the notable differences between descriptive and suggestive trademarks are listed below:

  1. Descriptive trademarks directly describe the features, characteristics or intended use of the product while a suggestive trademark only suggests the features, characteristics or intended use of the product
  2. Descriptive trademarks are not inherently distinctive but suggestive trademarks are
  3. Descriptive trademarks offer the least level of trademark protection while suggestive trademark offers a fairly good level of protection for trademarks
  4. Suggestive trademarks can be easily registered while descriptive trademarks will be accepted for registration if it has acquired distinctiveness through continued use (eg: Bank of America, Associated Press, Holiday Inn etc.)

Well-known Examples of Suggestive Trademarks

Even though suggestive trademarks are not as strong as fanciful and arbitrary marks, some of the established brands across the world have registered suggestive words as their brand name. Some of the famous examples of suggestive trademarks are listed below:

  • TESLA (Suggestive of electric vehicles as Nicholas Tesla was a famous scientist in the field of electricity)
  • NIKE (Suggestive for running shoes because Nike was the Roman god of athletics, which refers to sports and sports gear)
  • WALMART (Suggestive for retail stores because the brand name implies a “Mart”)
  • COPPERTONE (Suggestive for suntan oil that makes your skin shine like copper)

Seek Advice from Trademark Agents in the UAE

Even though less strong, suggestive trademarks can be considered while registering a trademark in the UAE. However, it is advisable to carry out a trademark strength assessment with the help of trademark agents in the UAE before finalising your brand name. If you are looking for the best trademark services in Dubai, look no further than Jitendra Intellectual Property (JIP).

We can take care of your trademark protection strategy by offering services such as trademark registration, renewal, trademark search, and trademark watch services in the UAE. We also offer international trademark protection services through the Madrid Protocol. Avail of our brand registration services in the UAE to ensure your valued trademark remains protected wherever you have the business.

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