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Trademarks. See Abercrombie & Fitch Co. v. Hunting World, Inc., 537 F.2d 4, 9 (2d Cir. 1976). Word marks have been characterized according to a standard set out by Judge Friendly in Abercrombie. Word marks are classified according to whether they are generic, descriptive, suggestive, arbitrary or fanciful. Of course, generic words are never afforded trade mark protection, descriptive marks are protected only if the trademark owner shows that the mark has acquired distinctiveness through consumer recognition, and suggestive, arbitrary and fanciful marks are considered inherently distinctive and protectable without any showing of acquired distinctiveness. A party asserting that it has a word trade mark must show that the mark is either inherently distinctive, or the mark has acquired distinctiveness through consumer recognition. 


In Two Pesos Inc v Taco Cabana, Inc, 505 US 764 (1992), the Court held that the decor, menus, and style of a Mexican restaurant were entitled to protection, even without showing acquired distinctiveness. Word marks deemed inherently distinctive are so unusual that a consumer immediately recognizes that the word points to a particular source. There is no reason that the same could not be true of trade dress. The issue ...

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