Archive for FAQs: Trademark

1. What is a trademark?

A trademark is used to indicate the source of goods or services in commerce. A mark which applies to goods is called a trademark; a mark which applies to services is called a service mark.

2. What can be a trademark?

A company or product name, a logo, a character, or even a color or a sound can be considered a trademark.

3. How is a trademark different from a copyright?

A trademark indicates the source of goods or services. A copyright protects the expression of an idea in a tangible form.

4. Can something be protected by both trademark and copyright?

Sometimes. A logo, for example, is an image which can be protected by copyright. When the logo is used to indicate the source of goods or services—that is, to represent or indicate the company which provides those goods or services—it may be trademarked in addition to being copyrighted. The holder of the copyright to the image and the owner of the trademark may or may not be the same.

5. How do I get a trademark?

A trademark can be obtained simply by using the mark in commerce, but while use may create a claim to a mark, the mark is not well protected by use alone.

6. How can I protect my trademark?

You can protect your trademark by registering it with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. This is best done in consultation with an attorney.

7. Do I have to register my trademark?

No, but registration has many advantages. It establishes your ownership of the mark, provides a basis on which to contest infringement of the mark, and increases the damages which you may obtain if someone uses the mark without permission.