Can I Trademark a Flavor?
No. But you can trademark the name of a flavor.
Flavors themselves cannot be trademarked because they represent a functional aspect of the product you’re selling. And while you may think that, since trademarks are designed to distinguish one product from another—and flavor is one one of the best ways to separate your product from another, flavors should be trademarkable, unfortunately they are not due to their functional nature. Beyond that, how would the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) determine whether a flavor was unique? And how would you go about enforcing, say, a trademark on a cherry flavor?
Now, just because the actual taste of a flavor cannot be trademarked does not mean that you cannot trademark a name, logo, or slogan for a particular flavor. A unique name, logo, or slogan for a (maybe not so unique) flavor of food or beverage can be trademarked so long as you’re using that name, logo, or slogan as a major part of the brand identity for that flavor. Take Buffalo Wild Wings, who has trademarks for “Wild” and “Blazin'” to denote two of their spiciest flavors. One thing to watch out for, though, is whether the name of your flavor is merely generic or descriptive of the flavor, which would cannot be trademarked.
If you are developing a new flavor of food or drink and are interested in registering a trademarking for it, contact us today to speak with trademark attorney Eric Norton to discuss whether your flavor’s name meets the requirements for a registered trademark.