Trademarks - Understanding the Basics
Updated: Feb 6, 2020
Trademarks, often known and used as brand names, are a part of everyday life. The main purpose of
a trademark is to enable the public to recognize
the goods or services as originating in a particular company or being a particular product or service.
Trademarks are protected by law in order to serve
this source-indicating function and prevent the public from being confused about the source of the goods or services. By doing this, a trademark also helps to assure that the trademark owner, and not an imitative competitor, will reap the rewards associated with a desirable product.
By acting as indicators of source, trademarks and service marks promise a consistent level of quality, helping the consumer to decide whether to purchase a desirable product or service again or to avoid an undesirable one.
Trademarks are often among the most important and valuable assets of a business. A distinctive trademark allows a business to build public goodwill and brand reputation in the goods or services it sells.
A trademark is any word, name, symbol or device (or any combination thereof) that identifies and distin- guishes the source of the goods of one party from those of others. Similarly, a service mark is any word, name, symbol or device (or any combination thereof) that identifies and distinguishes the services of one party from those of others. Service marks are often referred to as trademarks for convenience or because certain jurisdictions may not recognize the term ser- vice mark.
A trademark or service mark can be a word, logo, slogan, package design or other source indicator (or a combination thereof), or any other cognizable thing that serves to indicate a particular source, good or service.