Detroit Trademark Attorneys: A Trademark By Any Other Name …
The word “trademark” is actually a loose term intended to indicate various things being protected by a successful registration on the US Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO’s) Federal Register.
A “trademark” on its own would indicate, as one might expect, is the protection of a logo or word or series of words indicating the source of a good or product sold in interstate commerce.
Additionally, registrable marks include marks for services, for organizations and associations, for product “certifications,” for company names, and for the packaging of a product itself.
Detroit Trademark Attorneys: Service Marks
A service mark is a trademark registration for a service offered in interstate commerce. Law firms, restaurants, and other businesses offering services to customers rather than “products” would utilize a protected name, tag-line, or logo to identify their particular service.
Detroit Trademark Attorneys: Collective Marks
A collective mark is used to designate membership in an organization or association whose members offer certain services or goods and products that are separable from those offered by non-members. An example would be the FTD mark used by florists to indicate membership in the organization offering flower delivery services.
Detroit Trademark Attorneys: Certification Marks
A certification mark is used to demonstrate to consumers that goods or services have met certain standards. For example, the Environmental Protection Agency has registered the all-too familiar “Energy Star” certification mark for use on on products meeting certain energy efficiency standards. Such marks are approved for use by the mark-holder (the EPA, in the above example) by producers of products or services regardless of the fact that they do not own the mark themselves.
This is a unique feature of the certification mark.
Detroit Trademark Attorneys: Trade Names
A trade name is the pseudonym under which a person or company conducts business. It is protected as a trademark if used to identify specific products or services and is suitably unique.
That is, the name cannot simply identify the company itself: it must bring to mind to consumers (as viewed by the USPTO) a specific product or service.
Detroit Trademark Attorneys: Trade Dress
Trade dress refers to the appearance or packaging of a good. Trademark law protects trade dress only when the packaging or appearance actually identifies the source of the good within it.
Trademark Registration Attorney: The Bottom Line
The bottom line with regard to trademark registration is that one must bear in mind the particular considerations of the various types of trademarks for the multitude of goods and services offered on the market.
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