Overview of Trademarks
What is a Trademark?
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Table of ContentsWhat is a Trademark?What are the Objectives of Trademark Law?Discussion QuestionPractice QuestionAcademic Research
What is a Trademark?
A trademark is a form of intellectual property right dedicated to any word, phrase, sign, symbol, logo, color, sound, design, shape, decor, or other distinctive element (collectively known as a mark) that represents a business, brand, or commercial activity (sale of the product or services). The trademark allows a consumer to identify the business or commercial activity associated with the mark. That is, trademark rights come about from use of the mark in association with goods or services.
Next Article: Types of Trademark Back to: INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LAW
What are the Objectives of Trademark Law?
Trademark law has two objectives:
Business Protection - It allows the owner of the trademark to prevent others from infringing upon that business identity, and
Consumer Confusion - It protects consumers from confusion regarding the business or commercial activity represented by the mark.
Businesses seek to secure trademark rights to protect their company, brand, or image. They do not want other companies to benefit from their branding efforts by creating customer confusion as to the source of a given good or service. Even if a customer is not confused, very similar marks can destroy the distinctiveness of a companies mark, thereby making it less recognizable by customers. As such, enforcing trademark rights is an important tool in securing and expanding a business brand. Without trademark protection, competitors could easily detriment a competing brand by mimicking that brands mark.
- What is a Trademark?
- Types of trademark?
- Requirements to capture trademark rights?
- Distinctiveness requirement for a Trademark?
- Determining whether a trademark is sufficient distinctive?
- What is Federal Trademark Registration?
- Conducting Trademark Search
- Should I Conduct a Trademark Search?
- Trademark Application
- Drawing a Trademark
- Filing for federal trademark registration?
- Protections of trademark rights under state law?
- Primary reasons for rejecting a trademark application?
- Common trademark designations?
- Trademark infringement?
- Enforce trademark rights?
- Demonstrate infringement of a trademark?
How do you feel about the objectives behind granting trademark protection? How does this compare to the objective of granting patent protection? Can you think of any other benefits that a trademark provides for a business?
Holly is launching a clothing line. She is weighing the advantages and disadvantages of seeking trademark protection for her company brand. Can you explain to Holly the purpose of the trademark and the benefits to the business and public?