Can a Greek letter be trademarked (for use within the scope of a particular service offering)?


1

Let's say we offer an approach to better dental hygiene and we call it the change™ dental hygiene solution and we represent our change™ solution with the Greek delta (?) symbol. Hence, we might also refer to our solution as the ?™ dental solution or simply our ?™ solution. Let's assume that no one else is using "change" or " ?" as marks related to dental services.,

Firstly, do both the term and symbol meet the minimum statutory requirements to be eligible as trademarks? If so, would both the word and symbol be part of the same trademark application or are they two independent marks requiring two independent registrations?

If two applications are required, would it make sense to first apply for the term "change" and if that succeeds, then apply for the symbol, or is there advantage in applying for both at the same time?

Intellectual Property Trademark

asked Mar 5 '13 at 06:07
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C. Scott
85 points

3 Answers


4

My understanding is that trademarks must be unique in some way.

A trademark may be eligible for registration, or registrable, if it
performs the essential trademark function, and has distinctive
character.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trademark_distinctiveness Let's be honest here.. you want to trademark a triangle. Unless you add some sort of decorative something, it's still just a triangle.

Alternatively, you want to trademark a letter. It's not English but if someone in Greece asked about trademarking the letter D, we'd all look at him funny.

Alternatively, you want to trademark a generic word. Considering "Hope and Change" was recently a political tagline, I think the odds are pretty low.

Guy Kawasaki has a great book called "Art of the Start" which talks about mission statements and taglines. Check it out and then decide what you want your brand/product to be. Choose a logo, tagline, etc that resonates with you and feels right with your customers.

answered Mar 5 '13 at 06:41
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Casey Software
1,638 points
  • Some small computer programming company in Redmond, WA tried to use a single English word as a trademark. It didn't end well for them.... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_v._LindowsLittleadv 6 years ago
  • Are you saying that because "Hope and Change" was recently a political tagline, it would be more difficult to trademark the word "change" for a dental office? And are you saying one cannot trademark the letter D? – Yorick 6 years ago

0

(1) It is unlikely that anyone qualified to do so will validate a trademark on an open forum like this.

However, if you do some searching at the trademark electronic search system (TESS) you might be able to answer your own question:

http://tess2.uspto.gov/ (2) This is a search of a triangle shape with the word "dentist":
http://tess2.uspto.gov/bin/showfield?f=toc&state=4010%3Avytegw.1.1&p_search=searchstr&BackReference=&p_L=100&p_plural=yes&p_s_PARA1=TRIANGLE&p_tagrepl%7E%3A=PARA1%24DE&expr=PARA1+and+PARA2&p_s_PARA2=DENTIST&p_tagrepl%7E%3A=PARA1%24GS&a_default=search&f=toc&state=4010%3Avytegw.1.1&a_search=Submit+Query You might get some ideas from these results.

It appears that at least one dental office has used a triangle with a word in a single application. Filing a second application might give you more freedom to protect a purely gaphic logo incorporating the delta symbol.

You can also search "change" in combination with "dental"

Details about requirements for a trademark application and examination are here:
http://tmep.uspto.gov/RDMS/detail/manual/TMEP/Oct2012/d1e2.xml#/manual/TMEP/Oct2012/TMEP-1200d1e1.xml Good luck

answered Mar 7 '13 at 09:47
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Yorick
826 points

0

Yes, you can!

You can trademark a Greek letter on the off chance that you are utilizing it to advance or offer your items or administrations. On the off chance that you are utilizing greek letters as your motto or item names then they fit the bill for the greater part of the security that a trademark awards. Greek letters are viewed as open space similarly that the English letter set is, which is to say that the letters in order can be appropriated to make mottos and names without characteristically gambling encroachment.

Most sororities and crews own trademarks for the Greek letters that include their name, all things considered there are an expansive number of enlisted trademarks that utilization Greek letters. In the event that you might want to utilize Greek letters to recognize your items then you ought to have an exhaustive trademark seek performed to guarantee that there are no clashing trademarks for the particular letters that you plan to utilize. A society owning a trademark won't as a matter of course keep you from utilizing it, insofar as you are not encroaching upon the business sector that the trademark is connected with.

answered Jul 19 '16 at 06:06
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Alan Martyle
1 point

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