I want to understand why "Lyft" was trademarked for "transportation of passengers by motorized vehicle".
When Lyft Inc originally filed for "Lyft" trademark in 2012 (serial# 85/743120), the use was essentially restricted to a computer and telecommunication service.
Then Lyft Inc filed another application in 2014 (serial# 86/183891) for use in "transportation of passengers by motorized vehicle". This time, the attorney's response was that (1) the mark is not "merely descriptive of the identified services" and (2) "the mark has acquired distinctiveness among consumers".
Said application was approved by USPTO.
Obviously Lyft had a very good attorney at that time, and the first argument (which was fairly well written) was probably enough to convince the examiner.
Still, I am bugged by the second point. Under the trademark law, shouldn't be mark have been used for at least five (5) years before acquired distinctiveness be claimed?
My question is, is a five-year period an absolute minimum for acquired distinctiveness, or do examiners make exceptions to such rule?