The choice of a trademark may have a significant impact on its enforceability. Trademarks which are coined, or otherwise have no dictionary meaning in relation to the goods or services for which they are used, have strong or “inherent” distinctiveness. These marks are most easily enforced and are entitled to the widest scope of protection.

Trademarks which describe a quality or characteristic of the relevant goods or services receive a narrower scope of protection. However, marks which are clearly descriptive of the goods or services receive no protection under the Trademarks Act, because they cannot technically function as a trademark to distinguish the goods or services from those of another particular trader.

In between these two extremes are marks that are suggestive, but not clearly descriptive, of the wares or services. Some marks may be a composite of elements with some of each of these features.