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3. What prerequisites must a mark satisfy in order to serve as a trademark?

In order to serve as a trademark, a mark must be distinctive -- that is, it must be capable of identifying the source of a particular good. In determining whether a mark is distinctive, the courts group marks into four categories, based on the relationship between the mark and the underlying product: (1) arbitrary or fanciful, (2) suggestive, (3) descriptive, or (4) generic. Because the marks in each of these categories vary with respect to their distinctiveness, the requirements for, and degree of, legal protection afforded a particular trademark will depend upon which category it falls within.

An arbitrary or fanciful mark is a mark that bears no logical relationship to the underlying product. For example, the words " Exxon ," " Kodak ," and " Apple " bear no inherent relationship to their underlying products (respectively, gasoline, cameras, or computers). Similarly, the Nike "swoosh" bears no inherent relationship to athletic shoes. Arbitrary or fanciful marks are inherently distinctive -- i.e. capable of identifying an underlying product -- and are given a high degree of protection.

A suggestive mark is a mark that evokes or suggests a characteristic of the underlying good. For example, the word " Coppertone " is suggestive of sun-tan lotion, but does not specifically describe the underlying product. Some exercise of imagination is needed to associate the word with the underlying product. At the same time, however, the word is not totally unrelated to the underlying product. Like arbitrary or fanciful marks, suggestive marks are inherently distinctive and are given a high degree of protection.

A descriptive mark is a mark that directly describes, rather than suggests, a characteristic or quality of the underlying product (e.g. its color, odor, function, dimensions, or ingredients). For example, " Holiday Inn ," " All Bran ," and "Vision Center" all describe some aspect of the underlying product or service (respectively, hotel rooms, breakfast cereal, optical services). They tell us something about the product. Unlike arbitrary or suggestive marks, descriptive marks are not inherently distinctive and are protected only if they have acquired "secondary meaning." Descriptive marks must clear this additional hurdle because they are terms that are useful for describing the underlying product, and giving a particular manufacturer the exclusive right to use the term could confer an unfair advantage.

A descriptive mark acquires secondary meaning when the consuming public primarily associates that mark with a particular producer, rather than the underlying product. Thus, for example, the term "Holiday Inn" has acquired secondary meaning because the consuming public associates that term with a particular provider of hotel services, and not with hotel services in general. The public need not be able to identify the specific producer; only that the product or service comes from a single producer. When trying to determine whether a given term has acquired secondary meaning, courts will often look to the following factors: (1) the amount and manner of advertising; (2) the volume of sales; (3) the length and manner of the term's use; (4) results of consumer surveys. Zatarain's, Inc. v. Oak Grove Smokehouse, Inc., 698 F.2d 786 (5th Cir. 1983) .

From the polish of Santa Cruz to Yaxcopoil’s majestic decay, hacienda hotels suit a wide range of tastes. What they all offer is the chance to explore parts of the Yucatán that most tourists, flying in to Cancún for beach vacations or touring Chichén Itzá, never get around to seeing.

PAMPERING INSTEAD OF PLANTING

Flights from New York to Mérida involve at least one connection, commonly in Houston or Mexico City. A recent search for one-stop flights from mid-June to mid-July found fares starting at $546 on Continental.

Once in Mérida, the easiest way to get to the haciendas is by car, though it is possible to use buses and taxis. The Mérida airport has local and international car rental companies. Prices can be as low as $9 a day, but insurance, which some companies require, will increase the cost substantially.

Hacienda Yaxcopoil (52-1-999-900-1193; www.yaxcopoil.com ) rents a room for $60 a night, double occupancy. Museum admission, normally 50 pesos (about $3.70 at 13.5 pesos to the dollar), is included. There are no restaurants nearby, so it’s wise to add dinner and breakfast ($20 a person) when you reserve.

Hacienda Yaxcopoil

Hacienda San Antonio Chalanté (52-1-999-132-7411; www.haciendachalante.com ) has nine rooms for $50 to $80, including breakfast. Dinner can be prepared for guests who request it for an additional $20 a person.

Hacienda San Antonio Chalanté

Hacienda San Pedro Nohpat (52-999-988-0542; www.haciendaholidays.com ) charges $95 to $195 for its 10 rooms, breakfast included.

Hacienda San Pedro Nohpat

Hacienda Santa Cruz (52-999-254-0541; www.haciendasantacruz.com ) has rooms from $149 to $249, breakfast included.

Hacienda Santa Cruz

On May 15, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ( www.cdc.gov/travel ) downgraded its warning against travel to Mexico because of the New York City oversize sweatshirt Balenciaga Largest Supplier eSAXH5lDXp
to a travel precaution notice. It recommends consulting a physician to see if you are at risk and making sure vaccinations are up to date.

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A version of this article appears in print on , on Page TR6 of the New York edition with the headline: Enjoying Comforts Of the Yucatán’s Era Of ‘Green Gold’. Order Reprints | ALC Lace KneeLength Skirt Sale Pictures Low Price Online Free Shipping Classic Buy Cheap Visa Payment Shopping Online Clearance rQghtE
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Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico

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