Trademark Types

Trademarks and Service marks legally protect how a consumer identifies with a certain brand, product, service or design. Federal registration of a mark protects the owner of that mark from copycats who want to piggyback off the success of others.

What can be trademarked?

  • Business Name
  • Logo
  • Domain Name
  • Slogans

What cannot be trademarked?

  • Personal names (unless the name has a secondary meaning)
  • descriptive or generic words, or
  • place names

Product Marks (Trademarks)

A product mark represents how a consumer identifies with a certain good or product in the marketplace. It is the company’s stamp on a product that allows the consumer to identify with the products quality or reputation. This mark can come in the form of a logo or a word or a combination thereof.

Service Marks

A service mark is the same as a trademark. However, it protects how a consumer identifies with a service rather than a particular good. A service mark can be a word, phrase or design that represents the service being offered to the consumer. This mark does not represent a good sold to the consumer however; it is a service that must be rendered to benefit the consumer. This can be in the form of brand names, slogans, and logos.

Strong vs. Weak Trademarks

You want to choose or create a Trademark that will not cause confusion with another mark. Marks that are immediately protectable are considered inherently “strong” marks. Weak marks on the other hand describe some aspect of your goods.

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