A trademark identifies the source of goods. USPTO definition:
"A trademark includes any word, name, symbol, or device, or any combination used, or intended to be used, in commerce to identify and distinguish the goods of one manufacturer or seller from goods manufactured or sold by others, and to indicate the source of the goods. In short, a trademark is a brand name."
USPTO Trademark Portal
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A trademark can be a word, symbol, phrase, or other type of distinguishing mark. The mark must be sufficiently distinctive (i.e., capable of identifying the source of a particular product).
There are 4 levels of distinctiveness:
|Level of Protection
|Arbitrary or fanciful
|no logical relationship to the underlying product
|evokes or suggests a characteristic of the underlying product
|directly describes the underlying product
|describes the general product category
Grounds for USPTO to refuse a trademark include:
For more information, see USPTO's "Grounds for Refusal of a Mark."