Pizza Hut has my wife’s favorite pizza. Now, I’ve always loved “the Hut” – but I wasn’t a fan of the pizza until I met Kim. So, how can you love a pizza place but not really love its pizza? Its awesome trademark, obviously.
Most companies utilize two flavors of trademark – a design mark (aka a logo) and a word mark (aka a name, slogan etc.), but there are many different, more obscure, types of trademarks out there, and Pizza Hut has a great one.
Look at that roof! Believe it or not, the shape of the Pizza Hut roof is a protected trademark (US Serial Number: 72256767), just like the logos and slogans that most companies use.
Specifically, what Pizza Hut is taking advantage of is something called “trade dress.” Trade dress includes the design of a product (i.e., the product shape or configuration) (like the Coca-Cola bottle, maybe?!), the packaging in which a product is sold (i.e., the “dressing” of a product), the color of a product (Aurora Healthcare tealblue roof, anyone?) or the packaging in which a product is sold, and the flavor (or smell) of a product.
So, while these types of trademarks may be obscure, their impact can be huge! Additionally, trade dress provides an avenue for differentiation that companies with hard-to-trademark names or slogans can utilize.
OG+S would love to help you trademark the shape of your company’s roof!! There’s room for another Pizza Hut out there.