First things first: Happy 4th of July, Dear Readers!
Now contrast the original well wishes with the elaborate description of them, the latter being anything but short and sweet. Kind of reminds me of Kind’s apparent branding strategy. From where I sit, it represents a fascinating juxtaposition of the simple and basic core brand name with the complex, wordy, highly informative (dare I say descriptive), and multiple taglines.
On the one hand, KIND, truly a model of brevity (in its name at least), has built an amazing brand and developed strong trademark rights in a simple, positive, pure, four letter word that easily can be shared and repeated without folks blushing:
- THE NUTRITIONAL BOOST YOU NEED FROM A REAL FOOD BAR MADE WITH WHOLE NUTS AND FRUIT
- BE KIND TO YOUR BODY, YOUR TASTE BUDS AND THE WORLD
- DO THE KIND THING FOR YOUR BODY, YOUR TASTE BUDS & YOUR WORLD
- GRAB HEALTH BY THE NUTS
- SNACK LIKE THERE IS A TOMORROW
- HEALTHY SNACKS SHOULDN’T HAVE TO HIDE
- OUR SECRET INGREDIENT IS THAT WE HAVE NO SECRET INGREDIENTS
- YOU SHOULDN’T HAVE TO CHOOSE BETWEEN HEAVEN AND HEALTH
- FILL UP WITHOUT FILLING OUT
- KIND GIVES A NEW PURPOSE TO SNACKING
- A DIFFERENT KIND OF WHOLE GRAIN…
- CHEWY WITH A CRUNCH
- INGREDIENTS YOU CAN SEE AND PRONOUNCE
I don’t know about you, but the first tagline above is kind of a mouthful (of descriptiveness), and while the last two are somewhat smaller bites, they are still pretty descriptive, yet no descriptiveness refusals for any of them — the USPTO considered all of the above taglines, including the three I have highlighted here (first and the last two) to be inherently distinctive marks without the need for Kind to establish any kind of acquired distinctiveness.
Sometimes the more words in a tagline — even if descriptive and informative — translate into an inherently distinctive mark, perhaps explaining how the sixteen word tagline above satisfied the USPTO, without the Supplemental Register, and only requiring a disclaimer of the last nine words.
So, wordiness sometimes can help avoid a mere descriptiveness refusal, to create inherently distinctive trademark rights. It kind of reminds me of McDonald’s famous inherently distinctive and non-descriptive, yet descriptive 71 letter trademark mouthful:
Notwithstanding all this food for thought, as you may recall, wordiness in the written description of a non-verbal mark, may have a limiting effect on the scope of trademark rights.
Recall, Gatorade? So, some kinder and gentler almost advice to Kind might be to keep its tagline trademarks separate from its descriptive ad copy. What do you think?