What Is a Trademark?
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A trademark is something that indicates the origin of a product or service, and to which consumer goodwill attaches.
What are the different types of marks?
There are several varieties of marks, all of which these guide will refer to as “trademarks” for convenience:
- Trademarks (for products, like for pasta),
- Service marks (for services, like accounting services),
- Collective membership marks (indicating membership in a group or organization, like union services), and
- Certification marks, which certify that a product or service meets certain standards. These may impose technical standards, like Underwriters Laboratories for electric goods for pasta), or geographically-based standards, like Michigan Apples for produce,
There are also similar rights like geographical indications, rights of publicity, government/non-governmental/intra-governmental identifiers, and more.
What can be a mark?
A mark can be almost anything.
- A word, like APPLE for computers,
- A phrase or slogan, like JUST DO IT for shoes,
- A logo or other stylized mark, like , or for social networking services,
- A color, like pink for Owens Corning’s insulation products,
- A shape, like the shape of the Jim Beam whiskey bottle,
- And More!
Whatever the type and nature of the mark, consumers begin to associate that mark with a single guarantor of the quality of a product or service, even if they do not know exactly who or what that provider is.
- 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?