secondary meaning

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary

When a trademark that is not distinctive acquires a meaning within the marketplace such that consumers associate it with the product or service. For example, though first names are not generally considered distinctive, Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream has become so well known that it has acquired secondary meaning and is entitled to trademark protection. Proving secondary meaning requires evidence of public recognition through use and exposure in the marketplace.

Definition provided by Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary.