De-mystifying Trademarks

Introduction: I receive a lot of questions pertaining to trademarks.  There are several facets to the topic.  First is the scope of protection.  Second is what is a permissible trademark and third is what is the process of applying for federal registration of a trademark. Discussion: The scope of protection is vague.  A trademark identifies…

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Patent or Trademark?

  Introduction: I continue to receive questions prefaced with a statement “I have an idea and I don’t know if I should patent it or trademark it?”  Patent or Trademark.  The question is often stated in various ways but I think you get the idea.  There are fundamental differences between requirements and rights of patenting…

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WHAT IS A TRADEMARK?

Introduction What is a trademark?  Basically, a trademark is exactly what it says it is; a “mark” used in “trade” to distinguish the goods of the trademark owner from the goods of others. For services, the term is (not surprisingly) “service mark”. A mark may be a symbol, design or word. Frequently a mark is…

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PERSONAL NAME TRADEMARKS

Introduction People are proud of their workmanship and service. Accordingly, it is natural that people want to name their products and services with their name, e.g., Ford automobiles, Hewlett Packard printers, etc.  I suggest this is not, however, a good strategy for establishing a brand.  As I continuously urge, the best trademarks are arbitrary words and symbols.  Coined words…

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