By now, you must know, I’m a sucker for billboard ads. I really love to notice, study, comment on, and critique them, especially when there is an opportunity for some trademark storytelling.

This one for the Hampton Inn & Suites brand does not disappoint.

It appears that an IP holding company for Hilton, HLT Domestic IP LLC owns a pair of Supplemental Trademark Registrations for a pair of non-traditional trademarks, basically shapes without words — the outer border of its Hampton Inn & Suites logo, in a three-dimensional hexagonal shape: “The mark consists of a three-dimensional configuration of a hexagonal sign”:

It also owns a Supplemental Trademark Registration for the same three-dimensional hexagonal shape, in color: “The mark consists of a three-dimensional configuration of a hexagonal sign. The front of the sign is blue in color with a white outline and then a red outer outline. The sides and top of the sign are gray”:

Both of these non-traditional trademarks have twelve years of use each, so why no effort to seek Principal Registrations for them?

Could it be, this billboard ad is a precursor to Hilton claiming rights and attempting to show acquired distinctiveness in the hexagonal shape for hotel services?

Using the hexagonal border of the Hampton Inn & Suites logo as a carrier to highlight some key features of Hampton’s hotel services (free internet service and breakfast) is a nice application of the principle and benefit of employing, in essence, “look-for advertising” — without using those clunky words.

So, for anyone who recalls this post: Retail Sign Shape Trademarks: The “French Diamond Design” — and for anyone who also has a protractor handy, how close is Hampton’s hexagonal logo/sign to Denny’s hexagonal French Diamond Design logo?