IP protection: What are trademarks, service marks and logos?

Effective IP protection requires an understanding of what trademarks, service marks and logos are

A trademark (one word) is the identity you give your products. A service mark (two words—don’t know why, just the way it is) is the identity you give your services. Trademarks and service marks are essentially treated the same way, so from now on let’s just call them trademarks. Effective IP protection requires an understanding of what these assets are.

Back to that identity. It’s how people are going to know that a particular product or service came from you and no one else. A trademark can be a word, a graphic design, a picture, a color, a sound, a character, even a smell. Or a combination of any of them. It’s just like your own name. That’s how other people identify you. You use a trademark to ensure they identify you with that product or service.

Contributing Author

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Jill Sarnoff Riola

Jill Sarnoff Riola is a shareholder at Carlton Fields Jorden Burt. She specializes in United States and international intellectual property litigation and transactions, with particular...

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