What is Trademark?

What Is Trademark: Key Concepts for Securing Your Brand’s Identity

A trademark is a legally registered, distinctive mark that helps in the representation of particular goods and services and distinguishes them from one enterprise to another. Trademarks can be in any form, it can be in the form of shape, name, symbol, slogan, color, or logotype. A trademark is your representation power in the marketplace through which customers recognize you.

A trademark is a form of intellectual property that can be used for both goods and services, in the form of trademarks and service marks. Trademark differentiates and identifies goods and services from all of its other kinds, hence acting like a protective shell for the brand.  Go trough this entire article to know what is trademark.

  • Trademarks can be recognized easily with the help of a symbol, slogan, word, or any phrase that represents a specific enterprise or brand. 
  • It acts as a legal protector in case of fraud or any other counterfeiting.
  • Trademarks are denoted by the TM, SM, and ® symbols respectively.

Having a trademark does not mean you legally own a specific symbol, word, or any phrase, you only have the right over that word or phrase the way it is associated with your goods and services. If you want to protect your trademark then you are in need of some effective trademark, and that can only be acquired by creating a strong or unique trademark. Trademarks play an important role for a company or individuals, it guards their products and services. 

Trademarks can be registered as well as unregistered. Protection rights can be enjoyed by both registered as well as unregistered individuals or brands. In the USA trademarks can be identified with this ® symbol, ™ symbol denotes an unregistered trademark. These symbols represent that trademark users are using common law to protect their interests.

Read More: How to Register Trademark in India?

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Owned trademark vs Registered trademark

The time your trademark gets linked with your goods and services you are a trademark owner. But your established trademarks are limited and can be applied to a specific geographic area, where you are operating. So if you are thinking of getting nationwide rights then, you just need to go through the registration process meaning you need to register your trademark.

It’s not essential to register your trademark, but a registered trademark has some benefits like you can get broader rights and protections. And this is the thing that is lacking in trademark ownership. 

Registered trademarks are important for brands that are growing rapidly, so in order to protect the brand’s products and services from getting used, the owners need to go through the registration process. Registering your trademark means more rights, after successful federal registration, owners can enjoy nationwide rights in the trademark.

Read more: What is the Trademark law in India?

The Significance of Trademark Symbols – TM, SM, and ®

A trademark is represented by a specific symbol, this symbol is a claim that your products and services are certified and the trademark is yours. There are three types Trademark symbols : TM, SM, and ®. 

Symbol TM goes with goods, SM goes with services, and one can use these even before going for trademark registration. After you register your trademark and your registration process is approved, you can use the symbol ® with your trademark. 

Registration symbol helps a brand to stand out in the market. The registered owner gets exclusive rights and control over the trademark. It helps in building trust and loyalty. It helps in developing confidence and in choosing trademarked brands over the rest. It helps in differentiating products, it can help customers to find and differentiate products. Registration symbol provides proof for products or services and increases their value and worth.

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Trademark Types: A Guide to Categorizing Your Brand

There are various kinds of trademarks, product marks, collective marks, service marks, certification marks, sound marks, shape marks, and pattern marks. The purpose of every trademark is the same enabling the identification of goods and services. 

Product Mark

As the name suggests, a product mark is simply that mark that is used on products. This type of mark is not for services, so it can’t be used on services. It helps in the recognition of the origin of the product and maintains the brand’s reputation. Trademark class 1-34 comes under the product mark, so applications under this class are termed product marks. 

Service Mark

A service mark is that mark which is used on services, product mark, and service mark are similar but a service mark only represents services. It differs the owner’s service from the owners of other services. Trademark class 35-45 comes under the service mark, so applications under this class are termed as a service mark.

Certification Mark

Certification mark keeps in view the specific details, like product origin, and focuses on its quality and material, which are issued by the owner. Certification mark keeps the standard of a product and can give a guarantee to the buyers. It makes a product stand out from the rest of the products, it also provides a different standard for products by uplifting them with different tests to maintain its quality. The products under the certification mark are tested quality products. Packed items like food, toys, and electronics usually have certification marks.

Shape Mark

Shape marks focus on the shape of a product, and protect the product’s shape. It helps a customer to find the product relatable and can buy the product. Only after getting the recognition of the shape mark of a product can be registered, like in the case of Coca-Cola or in a Fanta bottle. 

Pattern Mark

Pattern marks refer to the pattern of products, products having some kind of specifically designed patterns that distinguish the product from the rest. In order to register a pattern one needs to provide evidence of its uniqueness. Patterns also fail in the case when the pattern of a product is not able to stand out and hence does not serve any purpose, such patterns generally get rejected. 

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Benefits of Trademark: Why Brand Protection Matters

There are numerous benefits of a trademark, whether in creating brand recognition or the reputation of a brand. Trademark is the reason behind the creation of loyal customers, and establishing or enhancing the company. It acts like a decision power for the customers and allows them to decide whether to purchase the product or not. It attracts customers and provides them with a proven or tested product. Trademark keeps a customer tension free and prevents consumer confusion, providing them with quality products. 

Conclusion

A trademark is very important in the business line, it protects the products from getting used by external brands. It helps in getting a loyal customer base for the company and attracts more buyers. Trademark symbols help in differentiating the products and help us to know what each symbol is about. There are many different types of trademarks that suit the quality of the product.

FAQ’s

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