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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TRADEMARK OPPOSITION

Introduction Trademark opposition is one step in the process in registering a trademark on the Principal Trademark register of the USPTO.  This step requires passing through the phase termed “publication for opposition”. Discussion Recall the first step in the registration process is filing of the trademark application. The application is either based upon actual use…

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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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GEOGRAPHIC NAME TRADEMARKS

Introduction If you have read my article “Introduction to Trademarks” you will know that I encourage use of arbitrary or coined words as trademarks.  They provide the strongest protection.  I am always leery of geographical place names in trademarks. At best they provide weak protection. Also it may not be possible to register the marks on the USPTO Principal…

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INTRODUCTION TO TRADEMARKS

Introduction Trademarks and service marks are an essential part of creating a brand.  (Service marks will be included with the comments pertaining to trademarks.)  The following is an introduction to trademarks. I have written other articles pertaining to trademark sub-topics. Discussion Trademarks are literally a mark or symbol, word, combination of words, sounds or name that is used…

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Patents, Trademarks & Copyrights

Introduction The following is a brief summary of each tool for protecting intellectual property (IP). The tools discussed are Patents, Trademarks & Copyrights. Patents Patents protect an idea (invention) that is embodied in a device or method.  This is different from Copyright and Trademarks. The vast majority of patents are “utility patents”. There are also plant patents…

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TRADE DRESS

In addition to words and logos protected by registration as trademarks and service marks, Federal trademark law (Lanham Act) also protects trade dress. Trade dress is the design or configuration of a product or the product packaging that can be shown to identify the source of the goods or service. The key is that the…

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Trademarking Domain Names

Major businesses, from the New York Yankees to McDonalds, have recently had problems with cyber-squatting; which is the practice of registering a publicly recognized name or mark as part of an Internet domain name and ransoming it to the “owners” of the name or mark for a profit. Cyber-squatting through the registration of domain names…

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PRINCIPAL TRADEMARK REGISTER

The US Patent and Trademark Office maintains two registers for trademarks. There is the Principal Trademark Register (which is where you want to be). There is also the Supplemental Trademark Register. Registration on ether register entitles the owner to place the ® symbol immediately after the mark, i.e., Kodak® camera. To be eligible for registration…

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