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Secondary Meaning Survey

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Descriptive marks can be protected if they have acquired secondary meaning. Secondary meaning is achieved when relevant consumers come to identify a mark with a certain product or service over time. When this happens, a descriptive mark that a business would not have been able to register initially, because it related to the class of products and not the specific brand, may achieve protected trademark status.

A secondary meaning survey typically seeks to assess whether relevant consumers associate a trademark or trade dress with a single source. If relevant consumers associate the mark with a single source (rather than associating the mark with the class of products as a whole), this provides strong evidence that the mark has acquired secondary meaning.

Ms. Harper regularly conducts surveys to determine whether a word, name, slogan, symbol, design, or combination of these elements has acquired secondary meaning. Her secondary meaning surveys have been submitted and accepted as evidence in litigation matters involving a broad range of products and services.

Descriptive marks are not ordinarily protectable as trademarks unless they have acquired a secondary meaning. Ms. Harper has conducted many surveys to determine if a trademark has acquired secondary meaning.

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Secondary Meaning Explained

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Trademark Infringement | Trade Dress Infringement | Misleading Advertising | Licensing | Defamation | Commercial Reasonableness | Likelihood of Confusion | Secondary Meaning | Genericness | IP Infringement | Consumer Surveys