- On June 16, 2015
What is a trademark or service mark?
A trademark is a distinctive name, logo, phrase, symbol, word, design, shape, sound, smell, color or combination thereof used to identify the source of a product and distinguish it from competitors in a particular field. Examples of a trademark include “Ford” associated with the sale of automobiles and “Kraft” associated with the sale of food products. A service mark is the same as a trademark except that it is associated with services instead of goods. An example of a service mark is “State Farm” associated with insurance services or “Terminix” associated with bug extermination services.
Why consider registering your name or logo with the United States Patent and Trademark Office?
Obtaining federal trademark protection provides many benefits to your business. First, it prevents other companies from using a similar name or logo, potentially confusing the public into doing business with them instead of you. Secondly, obtaining federal trademark protection allows you to use the ® symbol next to your name or logo, providing notice to the public that you own rights to this name and logo and no one else can use it. Thirdly, if you own a federal trademark no other company can take that name as their domain name, consequently directing your potential customers to them instead. Lastly, owning a federal trademark allows the owner nationwide priority of use based on the filing date of the trademark application.
There are many factors that go into the ability to obtain a federal trademark that must be reviewed carefully.