Moving Trademarks?

Yes, in this age of YouTube and Instagram, trademarks don’t have to be static words, designs, or objects. Trademarks can move. They can be a series of images in something like a slideshow presentation or a video clip. They can be the moving image that introduces a software program. or announces the producer of a motion picture, or advertises a service.

Marks that move are called motion marks, and so far there are fewer than a hundred registered. If you look them up in the PTO’s database, in all cases you will see five or more frames from the moving mark, like this one for financial services:


Trademark registrations are printed on plain paper (but good paper!) for now. So the series of freeze frames is the drawing that will appear on the registration certificate and in almost all records of applications and registrations.

But the Trademark Office accepts, and even encourages deposit of a video of a motion mark, and so some records include the mark in motion as it is seen by consumers, like this one for wine claiming only the eyes:


Motion marks join words, graphic designs, color, sound, scent, and configuration as devices businesses and organizations can use to mark products as their own.