what is a trademark

What Is a Trademark: Classic Examples and Registration Process

Business

There are different words with which you can define the term “trademark,” for example, sign, hologram, insignia, emblem, logo, seal, and more. Precisely, it is a graphical representation that any businessman uses to indicate a connection. The same is between his products and services and himself.

Let us now consider one of the trademark examples that will help you understand the term better. “Apple” is a very popular name in the computer industry, and they have a particular way of identifying themselves. It means that no other organization can come up with the same logo or brand name as Apple Computers Inc. Therefore, that is the logo of the company and the breach of which may lead to severe infringement policies and legal consequences.

This article will discuss the trademark and other information that will give you a better understanding of the concept.

What is a trademark, sign, or logo?

All of the terms that you find above define the same concept, which refers to a distinguishment mode. It helps the general public understand the difference between one provider’s services and products. Moreover, a logo is highly essential because it signifies the uniqueness of the source of a particular service or product. Plus, a consumer finds it easy to identify the provider or source of a product in this way. Further, when a business person or provider has a unique trademark, it ensures that no other competitor can use the same brand name or logo. Such a scam is quite common nowadays, especially if we are considering top-companies.

Many smaller business people may want to take advantage of an already established company’s goodwill and fame to grow in the market. However, the same is not possible when you are aware of the trademark definition and examples. Often, the concept of logo covers both service signs as well as trade signs. Moreover, the difference between both the terms is relatively minor because they are mostly the same. In this case, the only noticeable difference is that a trade sign promotes products and goods.

On the other hand, a service sign essentially promotes services only. While both the terms are often used hand-in-hand, you cannot alternate the usage at any cost. For example, you cannot promote products and goods under a service sign.

What is the common trademark symbol or logo?

™ or ® are the most common symbols that define a trademark or logo. However, there is a slight difference between both these symbols, and here it is. ™ is the symbol that shows that a particular business or company is using it beside its name. It means that they are unique, and no other competitor can use their logo, and more. On the other hand, the concept of ® is a little more serious. It shows that the ™ that the company is using a proper registration as per the trademark law.

While using either of them is not mandatory, there are indeed a few benefits of using it. The most common advantage is that the whole world can identify who you are. Plus, no one else can use the same brand name or logo for their business. In this context, you must be aware that you can sue anybody who is trying to copy your brand at any time.

People often use the terms “copyright” “patent” and “trademark” incorrectly and interchangeably. However, the real deal here is that all of the above terms are different from each other. Plus, they have different meanings, except the fact that they are associated with each other. Another similarity is that all of these are types of intangible assets. Therefore, as a businessperson, you can purchase, sell, or obtain a license for these.

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How is a trademark different from patents and copyrights?

The primary purpose of patents is the protection of any new design, invention, or discovery. On the other hand, copyrights provide long-term protection to original creations. For example, paintings, architectural innovations, sculpture, computer programs, movies, and more fall under this category. However, a logo is different because a business owner does not have to show proof of any innovation or creativity to apply for the same. For example, for several years, people are referring to the product of Coca Cola as coke. Therefore, ‘coke’ becomes the logo of the company automatically.

Purpose or benefits of a symbol or trademark

Even though it isn’t obligatory to enlist a brand name to utilize it, a brand name enrollment increases its value. The generosity and notoriety of a business can be diminished or discolored in case others attempt to distort their products and ventures as yours by embracing a brand that is comparable or indistinguishable from your business.

Here is a list of advantages of enlisting a brand name include:

  • The brand name proprietor has the option to keep others from utilizing a comparable or indistinguishable imprint without his authorization once the brand name is enrolled.
  • Generates a legitimate recognition among people in general about the genuine proprietorship and quality of your item.
  • Prevents others to duplicate and utilize the brand name as the proprietor of an enlisted brand name can sue and gather harms from associations that infringe upon the brand name.
  • A brand name enlistment diminishes the probability of another gathering asserting that your brand name encroaches upon their brand name.
  • Gives proprietor the option to utilize ® image.
  • It gives due notice to invested individuals who wish to record a comparative or indistinguishable brand name since the Singapore brand name office will enroll any confusingly comparable imprints.

Your symbol will also show up on the neighborhood Trade Marks Register when organizations consider embracing a name that is like yours.

What are the classic examples of a sign or trademark?

If you ask what is a trademark, there are several types of signs and marks that we can refer to. For example, a sports team’s mascot, company’s name, a set of song lyrics, everything falls under the category. For better understanding, check out the list of the most classic examples of a trademark, logo, sign, or mark.

Name:

Coco Chanel is an ideal case of a name that is also a brand. The famous designer Coco Chanel constructed her esteemed design empire by utilizing her name. Individuals realized that if they somehow decide to buy a Coco Chanel product, along with it comes the assurance of quality craftsmanship. Due to her sense of incredible taste, she became very famous worldwide. Her name is viewed as a symbol since it is also the brand name of her establishment. Moreover, it is essential to separate herself from different designers and generic garments producers.

Symbol trademark:

The golden curve of McDonald’s is an exemplary case of a symbol logo. A golden curve adjusts interstate expressways to caution clients when McDonald’s is present at the next exit. There is no name of the outlet along with these curves. The popularity of McDonald’s is such that there is no requirement of the name. The general public can understand from the logo that there is an outlet nearby. Their Golden curve logo effectively separates them from other drive-through eateries.

Catchphrases:

You can identify an organization by a particular catchphrase sometimes. For example, “You’re Fired” is one of the best trademark examples. Any American especially can understand where this is coming from because it belongs to President Donald Trump. He was the one who started using it on The Apprentice, his reality TV show. The same became so popular that now there is no requirement to mention the show’s name to understand where it is coming from.

Mascot or figure:

Let us consider another classic example in this case- the talking gecko of Geico. The mascot became popular because the owners decided to feature it in the majority of ads promoting the Insurance company. As a result, the gecko became their official figure and a symbol too. Presently, thousands of households in the country recognize the lizard and can identify the company as well.

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Lyrics:

Now, this example is one of the most interesting ones here. As you already know from above that song lyrics can also become an official emblem or sign. For example, there was a song, Like a Rock, that released in 1986. It was a collaborative creation of The Bullet Band and Bob Seger. Five years later, in 1991, it was the same song that became why the automobile company Chevrolet was able to bounce back from bankruptcy.

The song was used in the Chevrolet ads, and it somehow became an audience favorite. Moreover, Chevrolet has used it for over a decade. Throughout this time, the company was paying mandatory royalties to Seger because they were using their sign of popularity, Like a Rock. 

The above examples prove that names, physical marks, and words can create a separate identity for a business. Moreover, it can ensure that no other competitor can copy their official emblem or sign at any cost. If anyone has to use a trademark of another company, for example, the way Chevrolet did, paying royalties for the license is mandatory. Therefore, it is also crucial that you must get hold of an official license proving your business’s identity logo. Not only it helps customers identify your uniqueness, but the same prevent any theft as well.

What are the steps in the registration process for an insignia license?

Here is a brief guide that will put some light on the process of registration of a trademark or symbol. Let’s go step-by-step to understand the whole process smoothly.

Deciding whether you need a registration

As you already know, there is a significant difference between patents, business registrations, domain, names, copyrights, symbols, and more. Therefore, the first step is to analyze what is your exact requirement. You must have it clear in your mind if a symbol or trademark registration is the need here. From the above information, the purpose of a logo is clear, so it will be easy for you to decide.

Preparation for the application

A symbol or logo registration is not a very simple process. Therefore, it requires quite an amount of preparation. In this case, choosing the logo is the first step that you have to complete. Now, this particular step includes a few others too. For example, selecting the format, identifying the products and services, ensuring uniqueness, and appointing an attorney are all a part of this step.

Preparing the application and submitting it

There is a special TEAS (Trademark Electronic Application System) to do the initial filing work. Moreover, you will find all other details, including the application fee, on this platform too. Apart from this, you have to monitor the status and make sure that all the information you provide is authentic and the latest.

Coordinating with the USPTO attorney

Some dedicated attorneys can guide you in the process of registration. Also, they are the ones who will review your application during the process, so you have to be on your toes. The examining attorney will soon issue the USPTO letter asking for an explanation if there is a problem. In this case, you have to be prompt to respond to the same and convince them about the urgency at your end.

The final answer

After the examining process is over, the attorneys will come up with the final judgment of whether they accept or reject your application.

Maintaining the trademark registration.

If you get through the process with a positive outcome, ensure that you adhere to all the USPTO guidelines. For example, providing timely documents, monitoring the status, updating personal details, and more are all mandatory requirements.

Final thoughts

Now that you have the basic answer to a trademark, it will be easy for you to understand its importance. Moreover, as a business, if you still do not have the license, it is time that you get one immediately.

Shusree Mukherjee

Writing allows me to pour my heart out in words. So, that's what I've been doing for the past 6 years. I strive to bring in a change in the world by taking tiny steps of curating the right message that needs to be conveyed.

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