Suggestive trademarks are those that 'suggest' rather than 'describe' qualities of the underlying goods or services. Examples of suggestive marks include: ACOUSTIC RESEARCH for stereo loudspeakers, HABITAT for home furnishings, GREYHOUND for bus transportation services, and Q-TIPS for cotton-tipped swabs.
Suggestiveness and descriptiveness are not mutually exclusive. There must exist some description in almost any suggestion. However, by going beyond "mere description" the law elevates a suggestive term into the valuable category of "inherently distinctive" marks, which receive protection immediately upon their first use in commerce. Courts have clarified this fine distinction by stating that a mark is suggestive if it requires imagination, thought and perception to determine the nature of goods or services in question. For instance, it takes an imaginative leap to realize that greyhounds are sleek and fast, and that these traits are connoted in the use of GREYHOUND for a bus line. By contrast, no imaginative leap is required to figure out that QUICK STOP for a convenience store is meant to connote speedy service, and that such a mark would be classified as descriptive rather than suggestive.