FAQS About Trademarks and Service Marks

What is a trademark?

A trademark is any word, name, symbol, or device, or combination thereof, used by a person, company, or organization, to identify and distinguish goods and/or services marketed by the trademark owner. Trademarks include brand names and logos that identify the trademark owner's products or services from those provided or sold by others, and that indicate the source of the goods or services, even if that source is unknown to the consumer.

Trademark rights may be used to prevent others from using a confusingly similar mark, but not to prevent others from making the same goods or from selling the same goods or services under a clearly different mark. Trademarks which are used in interstate or foreign commerce may be registered with the USPTO. Under U.S. Trademark Laws, trademark rights are created upon use which is often called "common law" rights. However, registration of the trademark with the USPTO provides additional rights to the owner and thus is highly recommended.

In addition to trademarks, there are also service marks, certification marks, and collective marks. All of these are collectively called "marks".

What does the symbol "tm" mean?

The "tm" symbol next to certain logos, names or slogans are typically used to inform the public that the owner is using such symbol, name or slogan as a trademark but the trademark is not registered with the USPTO. The use of the "tm" does not in and of itself afford any trademark protection or rights, however, sometimes the "tm" can be helpful evidence to show when an owner first used the trademark in commerce which is important in determining common law trademark rights.

Free Consultation with a Trademark Attorney

Through our international network of trusted foreign agents, we are capable of obtaining international trademark protection by registering trademarks in such foreign countries including but not limited to China, Korea, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, and Canada. Because of this, our trademark practice is not limited by boundaries and is global in nature. Whether it is by filing individual foreign applications or via the Madrid Protocol, our Trademark Attorneys have the experience to navigate both the U.S. and international trademark laws and procedures.

Please contact us to schedule your free initial consultation. We service clients all across the United States and internationally.

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