Legal Encyclopedia Table of Contents

  • Using Trademarks in Meta Tags: Avoid It or Get Permission
  • Enforcing Your Trademark Rights

Legal FAQ Table of Contents

  • Copyright Basics FAQ
  • Qualifying for Trademark Protection FAQ
  • Filing a Federal Trademark Application FAQ
  • How Trademarks Differ From Patents and Copyrights FAQ

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Using Trademarks in Meta Tags: Avoid It or Get Permission

Republished with Permission © 2010 Nolo.

Improper use of someone else’s trademark in your meta tags can land you in legal hot water.

A meta tag is an HTML (hypertext markup language) code embedded on a Web page that is used by the website owner to identify the site content. Meta tags are powerful tools because they have a direct effect on the frequency with which many search engines will find a website.

Meta tags have been the subject of trademark lawsuits, because companies have used them to divert or confuse consumers. This use can result in a successful trademark infringement lawsuit, leading to an award of financial damages and, in some cases, attorneys’ fees.

How Meta Tags Work

Meta tags do not affect the appearance of a website and are not visible when you look at a Web page, but they provide information regarding the content of the site. For example, the keyword meta tag for a website offering handmade watches and related items may appear as follows:

And the description meta tag (which also appears in many search engines’ results pages) may look like:

Meta tags are used primarily by search engines that wade through the HTML code and text of each page. When a search engine finds a search term in a meta tag, it indexes the Web page for display in its search results. Over the past few years, because websites manipulated their keywords so much, keyword meta tags decreased in importance in search algorithms. In fact, Google ignores keyword meta tags altogether, although it still relies somewhat on description meta tags.

Using Meta Tags to Divert Web Surfers

Some websites use meta tags in a deceptive manner to lure Web surfers. Instead of using terms that properly describe the site, some programmers substitute the names of competing companies. For example, a rival shoe manufacturer may bury the meta tag “Nike” in its Web page to lure Web surfers searching for Nike products. In the case of the website selling handmade watches, the meta tag might include “Rolex, Swatch, Bulova, Cartier.”

This kind of deceptive use of another company’s trademark in a meta tag is a form of trademark infringement when it confuses consumers.

Stopping the Use of Infringing Meta Tags

To curb this type of trademark infringement, the trademark owner must first request that the offending website stop the deceptive use. If the use continues and the two companies cannot reach an agreement, the trademark owner may file a lawsuit in federal district court. If the trademark owner prevails, the court may order the offending website to pay money damages and, in some cases, the trademark owner’s attorneys’ fees as well. In egregious cases of intentional deception, the monetary award may amount to several hundred thousand dollars.

Permissible Uses of Trademarks in Meta Tags

Not every use of another company’s trademark in a meta tag is illegal. When the trademark is used only to describe the goods or services of a company or their geographic origin, it is permitted under trademark law as a “fair use.” For example, if a site distributes literature and music from the Amazon region, it may use the word “Amazon” in its meta tags. This use would not infringe the Amazon.com trademark, because the term “Amazon” is being accurately used to describe the goods offered at the site.

Unfortunately, there is no clear test for proving fair use, and even a merely descriptive use of a trademark in a meta tag may trigger a lawsuit.

Commonsense Use of Trademarks in Meta Tags

To avoid the expense and hassle of a lawsuit, avoid deceptive uses of another company’s trademark in your website unless the other company has consented to the use. Such consent might be granted, for example, if you are a distributor for the trademarked brands.

When in doubt about using a trademark in your meta tag, leave it out. Not only is it unethical and illegal to use trademarks deceptively, but it’s a bad business decision. Deceptive trademark meta tags can be easily uncovered, and many well-known trademark owners regularly troll the Net searching for such violations. The potential financial and legal consequences vastly outweigh the increased traffic to your site.

Example:
Former Playmate Terri Welles established a website and used Playboy and Playmate in her site’s meta tags. A court permitted the use of Playboy’s trademarks because Ms. Welles used the terms to describe herself and properly indexed the pages. The court was also influenced by the fact that most of the free Web pages at the site included a disclaimer at the bottom: “This site is neither endorsed, nor sponsored by, nor affiliated with Playboy Enterprises, Inc. PLAYBOY, PLAYMATE OF THE YEAR and PLAYMATE OF THE MONTH are registered trademarks of Playboy Enterprises, Inc.” (Playboy Enterprises, Inc. v. Welles, 7 F. Supp. 2d 1098 (Cal. S.D. 1998).)

Enforcing Your Trademark Rights

Republished with Permission &copy 2010 Nolo.
by Attorney Richard Stim

Prevent trademark infringement of your business name or product name.

As the owner of a trademark, when you can stop others from using your trademark, or a confusingly similar one, depends on such factors as:

  • whether the trademark is being used on competing goods or services (goods or services compete if the sale of one is likely to affect the sale of the other)
  • whether consumers would likely be confused by the dual use of the trademark, and
  • whether the trademark is being used in the same part of the country or is being used on related goods (goods that will likely be noticed by the same customers, even if they don’t compete with each other).
Dilution Statutes

In addition, under federal (and some state) laws known as dilution statutes, you may go to court to prevent your trademark from being used by someone else if your mark is famous and the other company’s use would dilute the mark’s strength — that is, weaken its reputation for quality (called tarnishment) or render it common through overuse in different contexts (called weakening). The key element is that your mark is famous — that is, distinctive and recognizable.

Dilution statutes apply even if there is no way customers would be likely to confuse the source of the goods or services with those sold by the owner of the famous mark. For instance, consumers might not think that Microsoft toilet paper is associated with Microsoft, the software company, but the makers of Microsoft toilet paper could still be forced to choose another name under federal dilution law.

Using a Trademark Actively

A business that claims to own a trademark cannot stop others from using the same or a similar trademark unless it is actively using the trademark.

In trademark law, “using” a trademark means putting it to work in the marketplace to identify goods or services. This doesn’t mean that the product or service actually has to be sold, as long as it is legitimately offered to the public under the trademark in question.

For example, Robert creates a website where he offers his new invention — a humane mouse trap — for sale under the trademark “MiceFree”. Even if Robert doesn’t sell any traps, he is still “using” the trademark as long as “MiceFree” appears on the traps or on tags attached to them and the traps are ready to be shipped when a sale is made.

Similarly, if Kristin, a probate attorney, puts up a website to offer her services under the service mark Probate Queen, her service mark will be in use as long as she is ready to respond to customer requests for her advice.

Trademark Notices: &#174 or TM?

The “R” in a circle (&#174) notice should accompany a trademark after it has been registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Failure to put the notice on a registered trademark can greatly reduce the possibility of recovering significant damages if it later becomes necessary to file a lawsuit against an infringer. The &#174 symbol may not be put on a mark unless it has been registered with the USPTO.

Many people like to put a “TM” (or “SM” for service mark) next to their trademark or service mark to let the world know that they are claiming ownership of it. However, it is not legally necessary to provide this type of notice; the use of the trademark or service mark itself is the act that confers ownership.

Reserving a Trademark for Future Use

If you like a certain phrase or logo but you aren’t ready to use it, you may be able to reserve it for future use, which keeps someone else from taking it.

You can acquire rights to the trademark by filing an “intent-to-use” (ITU) trademark registration application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) as long as someone else hasn’t actually started using the trademark. However, even if you file an intent-to-use trademark application, the mark will not actually be registered until it is used in commerce.

The filing date of the ITU application will be considered the date you first use the trademark, as long as you actually use the mark within the required time limits — six months to three years after the USPTO approves the trademark, depending on whether the applicant seeks and pays for extensions of time.

Nolo can file a trademark application on your behalf. For more information or to get started now, see Nolo’s Online Trademark Application.

How to Stop Others From Using a Trademark

Typically, you begin by sending a letter, called a “cease and desist letter,” to the wrongful (“infringing”) user, demanding that it stop using the mark.

If the wrongful user continues to infringe the mark, you can file a lawsuit to stop the improper use. The lawsuit is usually filed in federal court if the mark is used in more than one state or country, and in state court if the dispute is between purely local marks.

In addition to preventing further use of the mark, you can sometimes obtain money damages from the wrongful user.

Damages for Trademark Infringement

If you can prove in federal court that the infringing use is likely to confuse consumers and that the business has suffered economically as a result of the infringement, the infringer may have to pay you money damages based on the loss.

If the court finds that the infringer intentionally copied your trademark, or at least should have known about the existing trademark, the infringer may have to give up the profits it made by using the mark as well as pay other damages, such as punitive damages, fines, or attorney fees.

On the other hand, if your business has not been damaged, a court has discretion to allow the other company to continue to use the trademark under limited circumstances that are designed to avoid consumer confusion.

For more information on trademark infringement and enforcing your rights, get Trademark: Legal Care for Your Business & Product Name, by attorney Stephen Elias (Nolo).

Copyright Basics FAQ

Republished with Permission &copy 2010 Nolo.

These frequently asked questions explain what intellectual property and copyrights are, and how and what they protect.

What’s Below:

  • What is copyright?
  • What type of creative work does copyright protect?
  • Does copyright protect an author’s creative ideas?
  • How long does a copyright last?
What is copyright?

Copyright is a legal device that provides the creator of a work of art or literature, or a work that conveys information or ideas, the right to control how the work is used. Those rights include:

  • reproduction right — the right to make copies of a protected work,
  • distribution right — the right to sell or otherwise distribute copies to the public,
  • right to create adaptations (or derivative works) — the right to prepare new works based on the protected work, and
  • performance and display rights — the right to perform a protected work such as a stage play or display a work in public.

An author’s copyright rights may be exercised only by the author or a person or entity to whom the author has transferred all or part of her rights. If someone wrongfully uses the protected material, the copyright owner can sue and obtain compensation for any losses suffered.

For a complete discussion of copyright law, see The Copyright Handbook, by attorney Stephen Fishman.

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What type of creative work does copyright protect?

Copyright protects works such as poetry, movies, CD-ROMs, video games, videos, plays, DVDs, paintings, sheet music, recorded music performances, novels, software code, sculptures, photographs, choreography, and architectural designs.

To qualify for copyright protection, a work must be “fixed in a tangible medium of expression.” This means that the work must exist in some physical form for at least some period of time, no matter how brief. Virtually any form of expression will qualify as a tangible medium, including a computer’s random access memory (RAM), the recording media that capture all radio and television broadcasts, and the scribbled notes on the back of an envelope that contain the basis for an impromptu speech.

In addition, the work must be original — that is, independently created by the author. It doesn’t matter if an author’s creation is similar to existing works, or even if it is arguably lacking in quality, ingenuity, or aesthetic merit. So long as the author toils without copying from someone else, the results are protected by copyright.

Finally, to receive copyright protection, a work must be the result of at least some creative effort on the part of its author. There is no hard and fast rule as to how much creativity is enough. As one example, a work must be more creative than a telephone book’s white pages, which involve a straightforward alphabetical listing of telephone numbers rather than a creative selection of listings.

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Does copyright protect an author’s creative ideas?

No. Copyright shelters only fixed, original, and creative expression, not the ideas or facts upon which the expression is based. For example, copyright may protect a particular song, novel, or computer game about a romance in space, but it cannot protect the underlying idea of having a love affair among the stars. Allowing authors to monopolize their ideas would thwart the underlying purpose of copyright law, which is to encourage people to create new work.

For similar reasons, copyright does not protect facts — whether scientific, historical, biographical, or news of the day. Any facts that an author discovers in the course of research are in the public domain, free to all. For instance, anyone is free to use information included in a book about how the brain works, an article about the life and times of Neanderthals, or a TV documentary about the childhood of President Clinton — provided that that they express the information in their own words.

Facts are not protected even if the author spends considerable time and effort discovering things that were previously unknown. For example, the author of the book on Neanderthals takes ten years to gather all the necessary materials and information for her work. At great expense, she travels to hundreds of museums and excavations around the world. But after the book is published, any reader is free to use the results of this ten-year research project to write his or her own book on Neanderthals — without paying the original author.

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How long does a copyright last?

For works published after 1977, the copyright lasts for the life of the author plus 70 years.

However, if the work is a “work for hire” (that is, the work is done in the course of employment or has been specifically commissioned) or is published anonymously or under a pseudonym, the copyright lasts between 95 and 120 years, depending on the date the work is published. For more information on public domain works, see “Using Works in the Public Domain.”

All works published in the United States before 1923 are in the public domain — that is, not protected by copyright law.

Works published after 1922 but before 1978 are protected for 95 years from the date of publication. But if the work was created, but not published, before 1978, the copyright lasts for the life of the author plus 70 years.

If the author died over 70 years ago and the work was never published, copyright terminated on December 31, 2002. If the author died over 70 years ago, and a previously unpublished work was published before December 31, 2002, the copyright will last until December 31, 2047.

Is the Work Published?
In the complicated scheme of copyright laws, which law applies to a particular work depends on when that work is published. A work is considered published when the author makes it available to the public on an unrestricted basis. This means that it is possible to distribute or display a work without publishing it if there are significant restrictions placed on what can be done with the work and when it can be shown to others.

For example, Andre Bergmino writes an essay called “Blood and Oil” about the war in Iraq, and distributes it to five human rights organizations under a nonexclusive license that places restrictions on their right to disclose the essay’s contents. “Blood and Oil” has not been “published” in the copyright sense. If Bergmino authorizes posting of the essay on the Internet, however, it would likely be considered published.

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Qualifying for Trademark Protection FAQ

Republished with Permission &copy 2010 Nolo.

What makes a business or product name eligible for trademark protection.

What’s Below:

  • What types of trademarks or service marks are entitled to legal protection?
  • Are Internet domain names covered by trademark law?
  • Can a business’s trade name be protected as a trademark?
  • Is state or federal law used to settle trademark disputes?
What types of trademarks or service marks are entitled to legal protection?

As a general rule, trademark law gives legal protection to names, logos, and other marketing devices that are distinctive. These distinctive trademarks are sometimes referred to as “strong” trademarks. Strong trademarks come in two forms: They may be “born strong” because they are creative or out of the ordinary, such as Yahoo, Exxon, or Kodak (also known as “inherently distinctive” marks). Trademarks may also become strong because they become well known to the public through their use over time or because of a marketing blitz.

Trademarks that merely describe some feature or quality of the goods or that are based on someone’s name or a geographic term are usually considered to be “weak,” and thus unprotectible under trademark law.

However, once the trademark owner can demonstrate substantial sales, advertising, or other public awareness of a weak trademark (known as “secondary meaning”), the trademark will be considered distinctive and can be registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Examples of weak marks that have acquired secondary meaning include Peet’s Coffee, Newman’s Own Salad Dressing, Bank of America, and Vision Center eyeglass stores.

For more information about qualifying for and applying for federal trademark registration, see Trademark: Legal Care for Your Business & Product Name, by Attorney Stephen Elias (Nolo) or the Filing a Federal Trademark Application FAQ.

If you’re ready to apply for trademark registration, Nolo can file a trademark application on your behalf. Nolo’s online interactive program gathers all the information needed to create your trademark filing, with practical help at each step. When the filing is complete, Nolo will send you a summary and confirmation of the filing with the USPTO, along with three important contracts that will help you protect your trademark, and a guide to maintaining your trademark rights. For more information or to get started now, see Nolo’s Online Trademark Application.

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Are Internet domain names covered by trademark law?

The short answer is yes. Most people are familiar with website names like www.yahoo.com or www.amazon.com. The words between “www.” and the .com are typically used to identify the business that owns the website or a well-known product or service that is featured on the site. Frequently, this identifier is an abbreviation of the company or product name.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office allows these identifiers to be registered as trademarks as long as they are being used in connection with a site that sells goods or services. And the courts offer these domain names the same protection as other types of trademark.

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Can a business’s trade name be protected as a trademark?

The name that a business uses to identify itself is called a “trade name.” This is the name the business uses on its invoices, letterhead, and signage. Technically, a trade name is not considered a trademark or entitled to protection under trademark laws unless it actually adorns a product or service.

If a business does use its name to identify a product or service produced by the business, the name will then be considered a trademark or service mark and be entitled to protection (if it is distinctive enough). For instance, Apple Computer Corporation uses the trade name Apple as a trademark on its line of computer products.

A trade name that is not used on a product or service may be given some protection under state and local laws (through corporate, LLC, or fictitious business name registration) or be protected against a confusing use by a competing business under federal and state unfair competition laws.

For information on choosing a name for your business rather than product or service names, see the Naming Your Business section of Nolo’s website.

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Is state or federal law used to settle trademark disputes?

A number of legal principles used to protect owners against improper use of their trademarks derive from federal laws known collectively as the Lanham Act (Title 15 U.S.C. §§1051 to 1127).

In addition, all states have statutes that govern the use and protection of marks within the state’s boundaries. In addition to laws that specifically protect trademark owners, states also have laws that protect one business against unfair competition by another business, including the use by one business of a name already used by another business in a context that’s likely to confuse customers.

The basic rules for resolving disputes over who is entitled to use a trademark come from decisions by both federal and state courts (called “common law”). These rules usually favor the business that first used a trademark, if another company’s use of the same trademark would be likely to cause customer confusion.

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Filing a Federal Trademark Application FAQ/

Republished with Permission &copy 2010 Nolo.

Register your trademark with the USPTO to protect your business name or product name.

What’s Below:

  • How does a trademark qualify for federal registration?
  • How do I apply for federal trademark registration?
  • If the USPTO decides that a mark is eligible for federal registration, what happens next?
  • What types of trademarks are ineligible for federal registration?
  • What are the benefits of having a trademark on the USPTO’s Principal Register?
  • How long does federal trademark registration last?
  • Can a business register its trademark at the state level?

How does a trademark qualify for federal registration?

To register a trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), the trademark’s owner first must use it in “interstate commerce.” This means the mark must be used on a product or service that crosses state, national, or territorial lines, or that affects commerce crossing such lines — for example, an Internet business or a restaurant or motel that caters to interstate or international customers.

The trademark owner must also be able to answer “no” to all of the following questions:

  • Is the trademark the same as or similar to an existing mark used on similar or related goods or services?
  • Is the trademark on the list of prohibited or reserved names?
  • Is the trademark generic — that is, does the mark describe the product itself rather than its source?
  • Is the trademark too descriptive (not distinctive enough) to qualify for protection?

For information on distinctiveness vs. descriptiveness, see Qualifying for Trademark Protection FAQ.

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How do I apply for federal trademark registration?

You can file your trademark application online at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) website by using either: (1) the Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS) at a cost of $325 per class or (2) an abbreviated application system known as TEAS PLUS at a cost of $275 per class. (You can also mail in a paper application form at a cost of $375 per class.)

For most trademark applicants, registration is a relatively straightforward process. When completing the application, you need to:

  • describe your trademark or service mark (often referred to as “marks,” for short)
  • state when it was first used
  • describe the products or services on which the mark will be used, and
  • suggest the classification under which the mark should be registered (there are approximately 40 classifications for goods and services; the online help provided by the USPTO can help you figure out which classification is right for your mark).

In addition, your application must be accompanied by:

  • a “drawing” of your mark (for word marks, simply type the word; for graphic marks, you can include a photo file of graphic images)
  • samples of how your proposed mark is being used, and
  • the registration fee currently $275 per class if using TEAS PLUS, or $325 per class if using TEAS.

Nolo can also file a trademark application on your behalf. Nolo’s online interactive program gathers all the information needed to create your trademark filing, with practical help at each step. When the filing is complete, Nolo will send you a summary and confirmation of the filing with the USPTO, along with three important contracts that will help you protect your trademark, and a guide to maintaining your trademark rights. For more information or to get started now, see Nolo’s Online Trademark Application.

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If the USPTO decides that a mark is eligible for federal registration, what happens next?

The USPTO publishes the trademark in the Official Gazette (an online publication of the USPTO). The Gazette states that the trademark is a candidate for registration; this provides existing trademark owners with an opportunity to object to the registration. If someone objects, the USPTO will schedule a hearing to resolve the dispute. If no one objects, you should receive a response from the USPTO within a year. The total time for an application to be processed may range from a year to several years, depending on the basis for filing and the legal issues that may arise in the examination of the application.

In order to maintain the status of a federally registered trademark, the owner must file a statement of continued use and later, a renewal application. The owner acquires additional rights if a statement of incontestability is filed. All of these documents can be filed online. The USPTO does not notify the trademark owner when these statements are due, and if these documents are not timely filed, the federal registration is canceled.

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What types of trademarks are ineligible for federal registration?

The USPTO won’t register any marks that contain:

  • names of living persons, unless they have given their consent
  • the U.S. flag
  • other federal and local governmental insignias
  • the name or likeness of a deceased U.S. President, unless his widow has given consent, or
  • words or symbols that disparage living or deceased persons, institutions, beliefs, or national symbols.

Nor is the USPTO supposed to register marks that are judged immoral, deceptive, or scandalous. As a general rule, however, the USPTO takes a liberal view of the terms “immoral” and “scandalous” and will rarely refuse to register a mark on those grounds.

In addition, the USPTO will not register marks that are used only in one state; a trademark must be used to offer good or services for sale in more than one state to qualify for federal trademark protection.

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What are the benefits of having a trademark on the USPTO’s Principal Register?

First, there are two registers: the Principal Register and the Supplemental Register. Registration of a mark on the Principal Register conveys the important substantive rights that most people associate with federal registration and, as a result, it is the preferred method of federal trademark protection.

Probably the most important benefit of placing a mark on the Principal Register is that anybody who later initiates use of the same or a confusingly similar trademark may be presumed by the courts to be a “willful infringer” and therefore liable for large money damages.

Registration on the Supplemental Register does not convey the bundle of rights and protections granted on the Principal Register. For example, registration on the Supplemental Register is not evidence of the owner’s exclusive right to use the mark in connection with the goods or services, and the owner of a mark on the Supplemental Register cannot utilize the power of the Customs services to stop importation of infringing goods.

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How long does federal trademark registration last?

Once a trademark or service mark is placed on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO’s) Principal Register, the owner receives a certificate of registration good for an initial term of ten years. The registration may lapse before the ten-year period expires, however, unless the owner files a statement within six years of the registration date (called a Section 8 Affidavit) stating that the mark is still in use in commerce.

The original registration may be renewed indefinitely for additional ten-year periods if the owner files the required renewal applications (called a Section 9 Affidavit) with the USPTO. Failure to renew a registration does not void all rights to the mark, but if the owner fails to re-register, the special benefits of federal registration will be lost.

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Can a business register its trademark at the state level?

Yes, if the trademark is used only within one state (and thus doesn’t qualify for federal registration), state registration is a good idea. State registration, however, does not offer the same level of protection provided by federal law.

The main benefit of state registration is that it notifies anyone who checks the state’s list that the mark is owned by the registrant. This fact will lead most would-be users of the same trademark to choose another one rather than risk a legal dispute with the registered mark’s owner.

If the mark is also federally registered, a would-be user of the same trademark is presumed to know the trademark is federally registered, and state registration isn’t necessary.

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How Trademarks Differ From Patents and Copyrights FAQ

Republished with Permission &copy 2010 Nolo.

Learn how patents, copyrights, and trademarks serve different purposes.

What’s Below:

  • What is a trademark?
  • What’s the difference between a patent and a trademark?
  • How does copyright differ from trademark protection?
What is a trademark?

A trademark is a word, name, phrase or logo that identifies a product or service and helps distinguish it from that offered by the competition.

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What’s the difference between a patent and a trademark?

A patent allows the creator of certain kinds of inventions that contain new ideas to keep others from making commercial use of those ideas without the creator’s permission. For example, Tom invents a new type of hammer that makes it very difficult to miss the nail. Not only can Tom keep others from making, selling, or using the precise type of hammer he invented, but he may also be able to apply his patent monopoly rights to prevent people from making commercial use of any similar type of hammer during the time the patent is in effect (20 years from the date the patent application is filed).

Generally, patent and trademark laws do not overlap. When it comes to a product design, however — say, jewelry or a distinctively shaped musical instrument — it may be possible to obtain a patent on a design aspect of the device while invoking trademark law to protect the design as a product identifier. For instance, an auto manufacturer might receive a design patent for the stylistic fins that are part of a car’s rear fenders. Then, if the fins were intended to be — and actually are — used to distinguish the particular model car in the marketplace, trademark law may kick in to protect the appearance of the fins.

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How does copyright differ from trademark protection?

Copyright protects original works of expression, such as novels, fine and graphic arts, music, audio recordings, photography, software, video, cinema, and choreography by preventing people from copying or commercially exploiting them without the copyright owner’s permission.

Copyright laws do not protect names, titles or short phrases. That’s where trademark law comes in. Trademark protects distinctive words, phrases, logos, symbols, slogans, and any other devices used to identify and distinguish products or services in the marketplace.

There are, however, areas where both trademark and copyright law may be used to protect different aspects of the same product. For example, copyright laws may protect the artistic aspects of a graphic or logo used by a business to identify its goods or services, while trademark may protect the graphic or logo from use by others in a confusing manner in the marketplace. Similarly, trademark laws are often used in conjunction with copyright laws to protect advertising copy. The trademark laws protect the product or service name and any slogans used in the advertising, while the copyright laws protect the additional creative written expression contained in the ad.

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