Descriptive Marks vs. Marcas Distintivas

marcas descriptivas vs marcas distintivas

Descriptive marks and distinctive marks refer to different approaches to the choice and creation of trademarks. Each approach has its own advantages and disadvantages in terms of legal protection and market recognition.

Descriptive Mark

A descriptive mark is one that directly describes the characteristics or qualities of the product or service to which it is applied. For example, “Comfortable Clothes” for a line of comfortable clothing or “Delicious Pizza” for a pizzeria. These marks are clear and immediately understandable to consumers, as they communicate directly what to expect from the product or service.


  1. Clarity: Consumers quickly understand the purpose or characteristics of the product or service.
  2. Direct communication: The brand can help convey the benefits or attributes of the product effectively.


  1. Weak legal protection: Descriptive marks are less likely to receive strong legal protection, as they are not inherently distinctive.
  2. Difficulty in differentiation: It can be difficult to stand out in a saturated market if the brand is not unique and distinctive.
  3. Niche limitation: A descriptive mark may limit future expansions of the business to other goods or services that do not fit the initial description.

Distinctive Mark

A distinctive mark is one that is unique, creative and not directly related to the characteristics of the product or service. These marks tend to be invented, fanciful or associated with abstract concepts. Examples include “Google” or “Nike”. These brands seek to stand out in the market and create a specific association with the company.


  1. Stronger legal protection: Distinctive marks are usually easier to register and legally protect, as they are unique and non-descriptive.
  2. Memorability: Distinctive brands can be easier for consumers to remember and recognize.
  3. Flexibility: These brands can be adapted to different products and services, which facilitates the company’s expansion.


  1. Cost and effort: Creating and positioning a distinctive brand may require more marketing investment and effort to establish its significance in the marketplace.
  2. Initial uncertainty: It may take time for consumers to associate the brand with the company and its products/services.
  3. Possible initial confusion: Invented marks may initially generate confusion until their meaning is established.

In general, distinctive marks tend to be more beneficial in terms of legal protection and ability to create a unique identity in the marketplace. However, they require an initial, strategic effort to establish their significance. Descriptive marks may be more immediately understandable, but face legal limitations and may have difficulty standing out in a competitive market.