How to define trademark [Expert Review]



Last updated : Aug 25, 2022
Written by : Jefferson Weekes
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How to define trademark

Which is the correct definition of trademark?

Definition. A trademark is any word, name, symbol, or design, or any combination thereof, used in commerce to identify and distinguish the goods of one manufacturer or seller from those of another and to indicate the source of the goods.

What is trademark and example?

Almost anything can be a trademark if it indicates the source of your goods and services. It could be a word, slogan, design, or combination of these. It could even be a sound, a scent, or a color. Some registered trademarks you may recognize include: FORD LOGO for "automobiles."

Is a logo a trademark or copyright?

Generally, logos and designs that are used as brand identities for representing businesses are protected as trademarks. As they are original artistic works that have an element of creativity, they are also protected as copyrights.

What are the 8 elements used to determine infringement of a trademark?

In determining the likelihood of confusion in trademark infringement actions the courts look to these eight factors: the similarity of the conflicting designations; the relatedness or proximity of the two companies' products or services; strength of the plaintiff's mark; marketing channels used; the degree of care ...

What are the 3 types of trademarks?

What you'll learn: Arbitrary and Fanciful Trademarks. Suggestive Trademarks. Descriptive Trademarks.

What are the characteristics of trademark?

A trademark must be a mark which includes a device, heading, brand, label, ticket, signature, word, letter, name, numeral, packaging or combination of colors or any combination of the above attributes. It should be easy to speak and spell. A good trademark is such that the public can easily spell and speak.

What are the types of trademark?

  • Product Mark. Product mark is a mark that is used on a good or on a product rather than on a service.
  • Service Mark. Service mark is similar to the product mark but a service mark is used to represent a service rather than a product.
  • Collective Mark.
  • Certification Mark.
  • Shape Mark.
  • Pattern Mark.
  • Sound Mark.

What is importance of trademark?

A registered trademark is a symbol, logo, word, slogan, or company name. It protects your status and stops other businesses from trespassing on your intellectual assets. Trademark registration online is an easy process.

Can you trademark a name?

You can trademark your name if it has business or commercial value. Trademarking your name gives you an additional brand and keeps others from using your name. To trademark your name you must meet specific requirements with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

How long does a trademark last?

A federal trademark lasts 10 years from the date of registration, with 10-year renewal terms. Between the fifth and sixth year after the registration date, the registrant must file an affidavit to state that the mark is still in use.

Can I put TM on my logo?

You can claim a trademark on anything by using the TM Symbol, but you can't use the registered trademark symbol (R) unless you have registered the trademark with the US Patent and Trademark Office.

Does a trademark protect a brand name?

A trademark typically protects brand names and logos used on goods and services. A copyright protects an original artistic or literary work. A patent protects an invention. For example, if you invent a new kind of vacuum cleaner, you would apply for a patent to protect the invention itself.

What violates a trademark?

Trademark infringement is the unauthorized use of a trademark or service mark on or in connection with goods and/or services in a manner that is likely to cause confusion, deception, or mistake about the source of the goods and/or services.

What are 3 things that determine trademark infringement?

Thus, "use," "in commerce," and "likelihood of confusion" are three distinct elements necessary to establish a trademark infringement claim.

Can you trademark a name already in use but not trademarked?

1. Can You File for a Trademark That Exists? Updated November 12, 2020: If you're wondering, "can you trademark something that already exists," the simple answer is "no." Generally speaking, if somebody has used a trademark before you, you can't register the trademark for yourself.

What is the difference between copyright and trademark?

Copyright protects original work, whereas a trademark protects items that distinguish or identify a particular business from another. Copyright is generated automatically upon the creation of original work, whereas a trademark is established through common use of a mark in the course of business.

How do you know if a product is trademarked?

You can search all applied-for and registered trademarks free of charge by using the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)'s Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS). If your mark includes a design element, you will have to search it by using a design code.

What's the difference between trademark and business name?

The trademark performs a different function than the trade name. The trade name identifies the company while a trademark distinguishes and identifies the source of the goods or services. Confusion can also emanate from the common practice of some businesses including part of or all of the trade name in the trademark.

What are the four types of trademark?

  • Generic. A generic term is a common description that does not receive trademark protection.
  • Descriptive.
  • Suggestive.
  • Arbitrary or Fanciful.

What are the requirements of a good trademark?

  • Provide your name and address as owner of the trademark.
  • State the entity type (individual or corporation) and your national citizenship.
  • Demonstrate actual use or a real intent to use the trademark in commerce.
  • Give a detailed description of the product being trademarked.


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How to define trademark


Comment by Benjamin Providence

hi everyone I'm attorney aid in Durham with 180 lock Oh in Denver Colorado and you're watching all up in your business in this episode of all up in your business we're going to talk about the steps to take to trademark a name a business name or a product or service name and these steps are also going to apply to trademarking a logo but there are a few little differences if you're doing a logo versus trying to trademark a name but first before we get into it huge announcement coming at you March 4th is brandish DIY your trademark application during this one-hour webinar and mini workshop I'm going to teach you step by step how to prepare for complete and submit a trademark application without a lawyer and registration opens soon so if you want to learn the exact steps to take to file a trademark application without a lawyer check the description below for a link to get on the waitlist and to get some special early bird discount opportunities - all right let's talk about how to trademark a name the first step before you go trade marking anything is make sure it's something that's worth trademarking what makes a name more or less worth trade marking it really depends on how strong or weak it is a weak trademark is one that is more generic or common or descriptive versus a strong trademark which is something that's very arbitrary or very distinctive very creative and so the stronger your trademark is the stronger the trademark registration is going to be so if you have a really weak trademark something that typically makes it weak is if it's very descriptive of your goods or your services or if it's primarily your last name something like that makes a trademark on the weaker side and with a weak trademark if you register it all you have is a registered weak trademark and your trademark rights will ruffle to that if you have a weak generic trademark name your rights to enforce that trademark are gonna be somewhat limited and weaker versus if you have a very arbitrary name that's a stronger trademark then your registered trademark rights are gonna be a lot stronger to a few examples of very strong trademarks are like Google Google wasn't even a word until Google came out and created it so any like brand new word or creating a new word creating a new sound combining words to create something new that's the best thing you can do is create a brand new word or a brand new trademark that no one's ever seen before that's gonna make it stronger versus a weaker trademark so if we've decided that it's worth pursuing a trademark registration the next thing we want to do is make sure it's available to even register and use in the US a good first place to start with searching for your trademark availability is of course Google or your favorite search engine type in the trademark that you're looking to register and see what comes up if there's a bunch of other business listings for similar types of products or services if the exact trademark that you want comes up a lot or if there are a lot of similar variations then that might be a little red flag that maybe this trademark has already taken or if it's not taken necessarily registered if there's a lot of competition with that trademark that's going to affect how strong and distinctive your trademark is so if you're seeing a lot of similar variations of your trademark or identical trademarks then you might want to think about how that will impact your registration and then after doing a Google search you can also do a search on the Whois database to see what kind of domain name registrations already exists that incorporate your trademark or something similar to it and then the USP tA-o has a really good search database available - this allows you to search for pending trademark applications and registered trademarks that might be identical or similar to yours so if you go to the USPTO s website its uspto.gov and you'll navigate to their tests tes s system and this is where you're gonna do that search and you'll usually be able to do just a basic word search for your name now this is where the difference comes in if you're trying to trademark a logo then you'll want to do a design search which is a bit more complicated than just a basic word search so here you can type in the trademark name that you're wanting to use for this example I'm gonna type in all up in your business and then we'll see what comes up so let's say you were wanting to register your trademark all up in your business for your local ice cream shop we see here there is an active live registration for all up in yo business so what's important to note if you do find trademarks that are identical to yours or kind of similar to yours pay attention also to the goods or services that are associated with that registration there are two things primarily that go into trademark applications and trademark registrations the first is the similarity of the trademark itself the second is the similarity of the goods or services so if I'm opening an ice cream shop called all opinio business this current all up in your business registration is for like legal services and things that have absolutely nothing to do with ice cream or ice cream shops so with this finding I am relatively safe feeling like I can proceed with my application because there aren't any that are so similar in trademark and in the goods and services that it's likely it'll get through but if you do find something in the database that is kind of similar to your trademark and goods or services are somewhat related or if they're identical then again that's a red flag that you're going to want to take into consideration and maybe go back to the drawing board because if someone else already has that trademark registered in a very related category of goods or services that's going to impact how your application goes and whether or not you're going to get that registration you can also use some third-party trademark search tools there are companies out there that will do a very thorough trademark search these aren't lawyers or law offices they're just trademark search companies that will search the USPTO and common-law usage and even international usage and then what they'll do is they'll compile all the information and give you typically this very large report summarizing what they found now if you're not a lawyer and you don't know how to actually interpret and analyze those results it may not do you a whole lot of good to pay for that kind of a search but if you can figure out how to analyze what you're looking at then using one of those services for a pretty extensive search is a good idea but really the best option is to use an attorney to help you with this clearance search because the attorney is gonna not only know what to search for but they're also going to understand what they're looking at and they're gonna know how to analyze that in the context of your trademark and determine what it actually means for the fate of your trademark application so if we've determined we want to file the application and the trademark is available the next step is to start using the trademark now ok


Thanks for your comment Benjamin Providence, have a nice day.
- Jefferson Weekes, Staff Member


Comment by Mark

hi i'm stan muller this is crash course intellectual property and today we're talking about trademarks trademarks are everywhere and they can often be confusing so today we're going to talk about why just about everything seems to be trademarked and why trademarks are good for business mr mueller trademarks don't intersect with my life so i really don't see why we need to cover this one it's mueller and two just watch the video a trademark is any word name symbol or device used to identify and distinguish goods from those manufactured or sold by others and to indicate the source of the goods even if that source is unknown this bit about unknown sources means that you as a consumer don't usually know the person or factory that actually made the goods you buy before the industrial revolution you often knew exactly who was making your stuff and how it was made if you wanted a hammer you went to the blacksmith and you knew his name it was probably smith these days brand names assure you that you're buying the same product say toilet paper that you bought last time you went shopping you know like the stuff with the ripples seriously though getting the wrong medication because of brand name confusion or counterfeiting could be disastrous the rationale for granting legal protection for trademarks is that they're a type of property it demonstrates to the purchasing public a standard of quality and embodies the goodwill and advertising investment of its owner in other words companies expend a tremendous amount of resources to develop the product market it to customers and provide customer support and back up their product with warranties at its core trademark law functions as a consumer protection measure it prevents consumer confusion and makes it easier for consumers to select and purchase the goods and services they want for example if you go shopping for a new television you don't have to sift through dozens of products that are confusingly similar to samsung knockoffs like samsung or wamsung or sony you want the samsung maybe based on past experience or the company's reputation or even a funny ad because the law protects the manufacturer's use of the trademark you can be reasonably sure that the tv you're picking up at best buy is the tv you saw the verge reporters freaking out about at ces though trademarks are often classified as intellectual property the supreme court held in the 1879 trademark cases that congress has no power to protect or regulate trademarks under the intellectual property clause of the constitution which as you'll recall provides congress with the authority to regulate and protect copyrights and patents but this didn't stop congress from regulating trademarks they used the commerce clause of the constitution which gives them the power to regulate commerce with foreign nations and among the several states and with the indian tribes beyond trademarks there are also service marks which are very similar in that they distinguish one particular service an example of a service mark is that roaring lion at the beginning of mgm movies it's registered for motion picture production or something trade dress or product packaging is protected if it's distinctive and non-functional like the shape of a nutter butter cookie is protected trade dress what they ought to trademark is the smell some people have registered smells and we'll get to that in a minute trademarks are symbols and since human beings might use as a symbol or device almost anything that is capable of carrying meaning just about any conceivable thing can function as a trademark trademarks can be words like craft or lego logos designs like the nike swoosh aromas like there's a brand of oil for race cars that smells like cherries sounds like bong bong bong or bada or bada papa even though is a registered trademark you can register colors like ups brown or home depot orange or tiffany blue or john deere green personal names like taylor swift t swizzy's name is registered for 61 different goods and services from shoes to christmas tree ornaments even containers like the coca-cola bottle or this perfume bottle shaped like a human skull can be registered in short they can be almost anything that distinguishes the product from others and which signifies the source of the goods despite the breadth of potential trademark subject matter there are some limits on what can be a valid trademark recently a restaurant in texas asserted trademark rights in the flavor of its pizza one of the restaurant's former employees allegedly stole the recipe and opened up a competing pizza joint selling pizzas that tasted a lot like those made by his former employer the judge rejected the claim and dismissed the case finding that it is unlikely that flavors can ever be inherently distinctive because they do not automatically suggest a product source also functional product features are not protectable under trademark law pizza has only one function that's to taste delicious so there are three requirements for trademarks we just discussed the first one that a trademark has to be a symbol or device that a court or the patent and trademark office deems to qualify the second requirement is that the mark has to be used in interstate commerce and the third is that it has to identify the mark owner's goods and distinguish them from those manufactured or sold by others it has to be distinctive let's talk about trademarks and what makes them distinctive in the thought window quartz rank trademark distinctiveness along a spectrum ranging from unprotectable to highly protectable at the bottom end of the spectrum is generic generic names refer to stuff like using the word orange for the fruit or dog for the canine or cheese for cheese descriptive terms simply describe the goods and convey an immediate idea of what the product is such as break and bake for scored cookie dough suggestive marks require some imagination or perception to link them to the goods like chic for middle eastern food or fruit loops for a circular fruit flavored breakfast cereal arbitrary marks are common words used in unexpected ways apple for computers or amazon for book sales or shelf for gasoline the most distinctive marks are usually made up words fanciful marks are non-dictionary words such as google for an internet search engine or clorox for bleach or kodak for film fanciful arbitrary and suggestive marks receive automatic protection upon use because they're considered to be inherently distinctive so the owner of the break and bake mark has to show that consumers identify the product with nabisco or pillsbury or whoever makes the product i honestly don't know who makes it which isn't a good sign as to whether it's acquired secondary meaning generic terms are never entitled to protection this becomes important when trademarks are gradually assimilated into the language as common names through a process sometimes called generocide the public comes to view such names as referring to the products themselves rather than as distinguishing the source of the products as a result the name loses its protection words like escalators cel


Thanks Mark your participation is very much appreciated
- Jefferson Weekes


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