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Written by : Alejandro Prottsman
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Thanks for this great article
Thanks for your comment Candace Marse, have a nice day.
- Alejandro Prottsman, Staff Member
say you've got a great idea for a business and you'd like to trademark it the first thing you need to know is that you can't trademark a mere business idea trademarks are only granted to companies actually engaged in business what exactly is a trademark a trademark is a word name symbol or device or combination of above that identifies the source of a product or service these words or symbols can also include slogans letters numbers or even sound so long as they clearly identify the source of a product or service and distinguish it from all others that's how trademarks protect the public by preventing confusion or deception by those who try to Palm off their goods as those of another trademarks also protect the reputation of the producers of those goods and services and can be very valuable in marketing and advertising take Nikes swoosh logo in 1971 Nike founder Phil Knight paid graphic design student Carolyn Davidson a mere 35 dollars to design the swoosh logo for his new company today that trademark logo is indelibly associated with Nikes brand including its reputation for quality workmanship and design and it's worth a staggering 20 billion dollars don't feel too bad from his Davidson though Phil Knight later gave her stock worth an estimated three-quarters of a million dollars not bad for a few hours work drawing a curvy checkmark there are two main types of registered marks trademarks and service marks trademarks identify products physical goods and commodities that are manufactured produced or grown service marks are exactly the same as trademarks except that they identify the source of a service the key requirement for getting a trademark is distinctiveness but how that trademark distinctively identifies the producer of a product or service can vary the words names symbols or devices that make up the trademark can be fanciful arbitrary or suggestive but they can rarely be descriptive and absolutely never be generic so how does toys-r-us get away with using the generic word toy in its trademark name it's because of the fanciful spelling which distinguishes it from other toy stores but guess what a trademark can become so successful that the public begins to associate it with a whole category of similar products and services that's what happened to cellophane and aspirin and when they became generic names they lost their trademarks that's why some companies go to great lengths to ensure that people don't use their trademark names generically Google for example asked people to follow its rules for proper usage and say I used Google search rather than I googled it how do you establish trademark protection like copyrights trademarks don't have to be registered with the federal government they still give their owners the exclusive right to use the mark in their geographic area of business the right to bring civil action against infringers and protection against false advertising unregistered trademarks are identified by the TM symbol displayed on the product package or the advertising that promotes it but registering your trademark with the US Patent and Trademark Office gives you some important additional protections like the exclusive right to use the trademark nationwide the ability to bring legal action in federal court to defend your trademark the ability to record the registered mark with the US Customs and Border Protection Service to prevent importation of infringing foreign goods registered trademarks are identified with the R symbol it costs money to register a trademark $275 in filing fee plus the cost of an attorney to help you that's why many small businesses choose to rely just on the common law protections given to unregistered trademarks when they're first starting up but registered or not trademarks can have real value if you've got a great product or service branding it with a distinctive trademark can mean the difference between profit or loss just ask Phil Knight
Thanks 2tintasw your participation is very much appreciated
- Alejandro Prottsman
About the author
I've studied categorization at Southern California Institute of Architecture in Los Angeles and I am an expert in database. I usually feel gloomy. My previous job was pathologist (md) I held this position for 4 years, I love talking about bus riding and needlework. Huge fan of Gabrielle Unionr I practice laser tag and collect dolls.
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