Can you trademark a flavor or taste?

No, you cannot trademark a flavor. While a flavor will distinguish the taste of your product from another competing product, it cannot be trademarked as it serves an "essential functional aspect" of the product.

This information was provided by our founding attorney, Xavier Morales, Esq. 

Trademarks cover the identifying factors of a product, such as its name, logo, or associated slogan. Trademarks serve to strengthen a company’s reputation by distinguishing it from its competitors; a flavor cannot do so, as a consumer cannot experience the flavor prior to purchasing the product.

If you give a unique name to a flavor, that unique name can be trademarked. A distinct flavor name can serve as a product’s name or slogan in a way that could be trademarked. If you utilize a unique flavor name in relation to a particular product, then over time the unique name will develop a secondary meaning that is associated with the specific product. That secondary meaning is grounds for trademarking, and will prevent competitors from applying a similar name to flavors associated with their products.

Contact us today if you are curious about trademarking a unique flavor name, as this branch of trademark law can be quite confusing.

How We Can Work Together

The Steps to Getting a Flavor Name Trademarked

Step 1: Perform A Comprehensive Search

We will conduct a thorough trademark search to ensure your desired mark doesn’t closely resemble existing registered trademarks. Seeking an attorney's help can aid in identifying both exact matches and "confusingly similar" marks, as they have access to various databases and can discern subtle distinctions.

Step 2: File the Trademark Application

After due diligence, we file a trademark application through the Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS) or its alternative, TEAS Plus. The choice between these two can impact costs and requirements; we'll provide guidance on this decision and help navigate the complexities.

Step 3: Monitor Your Application

Once the application is submitted, expect a waiting period of 4 to 6 months for feedback from the USPTO. While the initial response might be an approval, there's a possibility of receiving an Office Action or denial, but amendments can typically be made and refiled.

Step 4: Finalize Your Registration

Upon application approval, the trademark will be published in the Trademark Official Gazette for 30 days, allowing potential opposition from other companies. If opposed, the case might proceed to the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB). If unopposed, a certificate of registration will be issued, but ongoing maintenance is essential to preserve trademark rights.

Xavier Morales, Esq.

About the Author

Xavier Morales, Esq.

Mr. Morales founded his trademark law practice in January 2007 with the goal of providing intellectual property expertise to entrepreneurs and businesses around the country. Since then, he has filed more than 6,000 trademarks with the USPTO. You can learn more about Xavier here.

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office: 1-866-618-2517
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