secondary meaning

secondary meaning
secondary mean·ing n: a developed association in the public's mind between the mark, name, or trade dress of a product and a specific manufacturer originating it that renders the mark, name, or trade dress protectable under trademark law
the general descriptive name of the product acquired secondary meaning

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of Law. . 1996.

secondary meaning
When a trademark that is not distinctive acquires a meaning within the marketplace such that consumers associate it with the product or service. For example, though first names are not generally considered distinctive, Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream has become so well known that it has acquired secondary meaning and is entitled to trademark protection. Proving secondary meaning requires evidence of public recognition through use and exposure in the marketplace.
Category: Patent, Copyright & Trademark → Trademark Law

Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary. . 2009.

secondary meaning
A doctrine of trademark law (See trademarks) that provides that protection is afforded to the user of an otherwise unprotectable mark when the mark, through advertising or other exposure, has come to signify that an item is produced or sponsored by that user.

Dictionary from West's Encyclopedia of American Law. 2005.

secondary meaning
A doctrine of trademark law that provides that protection is afforded to the user of an otherwise unprotectable mark when the mark, through advertising or other exposure, has come to signify that an item is produced or sponsored by that user.

Short Dictionary of (mostly American) Legal Terms and Abbreviations.

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