On a recent business trip, I stayed at a Hampton Inn. The shape of of their sign is a great non-traditional trademark, I couldn’t help but notice. It is not the normal shape of hotel sign, i.e. rectangular. It is used consistently. It is used on logos and throughout the hotel brand package. For example, see the photos I took below of the hotel coffee urn in the lobby, the laundry bag and order form, elevator interior, and more.
Hilton International has wisely registered the shape with the USPTO in connection with hotel services. Even if on the Supplemental Register these registration provide value and show a commitment to protect the nontraditional trademark.
Great brands find distinctive marks to make themselves easily recognizable to consumers, use them wisely and extensively, and then apply to register any such nontraditional trademarks with the USPTO.