How Do I Properly Use My Trademark?
Protect Your Brand
Instant Results and Analysis. Easy-to-use.
Trademarks are properly used as adjectives, and describe the source of a product or service – the marks in the phrases “Sunkist® orange” or “Google® search engine” serve the same linguistic function as generic modifiers like “ripe banana” or “fast computer,” although their impact on consumers (and in trademark law) are significantly different.
Using the mark as a noun or verb can have negative consequences. When a term becomes so widely used to refer to a type of product rather than to identify a specific provider of that product, the term can change from a protectable mark to a non-protectable generic term. The SINGER sewing machine brand briefly became generic, and other prominent companies have undertaken advertising campaigns to preserve the distinctiveness of popular but often misused brands like ROLLERBLADE.
For more about using the ® and ™ symbols, please read our guide "What Trademark Symbol Should I Use?"
- What Jurisdictions Are Available for Searching?
- What Is a Trademark?
- What Factors Go Into Picking a "Good" Trademark?
- How Much Are Trademarks Worth?
- What Is the Difference Between a Trademark, a Copyright, and a Patent?
- How Do I Get Trademark Protection?
- Why Should I Do a Clearance Search for a Trademark?
- What Is the Benefit of Registering a Trademark With the USPTO?
- What Is the Cost To File a Trademark Application?
- What Is an International Class In a Trademark Application?
- What Are Goods and Services In a Trademark Application?
- What Does an Examining Attorney Look For When Reviewing a Trademark Application?
- When Is There a Likelihood of Confusion Between Two Marks?
- What Is an Acceptable Specimen of Use?
- What Is the Difference Between the Principal Register and the Supplemental Register?
- How Long Does It Take To Register a Trademark?
- How Long Does a Trademark Last?
- What Is the Madrid Protocol?
- What Is the Nice Agreement?
- What Is the Paris Convention?
- How Do I Properly Use My Trademark?
- How Do I Protect My Trademark?
- What Trademark Symbol Should I Use?
- What Is Trademark Infringement?
- How Do Trademark Rights Relate to Domain Names (and What Is a UDRP)?
- How Do Trademark Rights Relate to Business Name Rights?
- How Do I Form a Business Entity?