Questions and Answers on Trademarks and Service Marks

by Ronald J. Kransdorf, Peter C. Lando, Edward F. Perlman, David Wolf

What are trademarks and service marks?

A trademark identifies the products and a service mark identifies the services of a business.They distinguish such products or services from those of others.Collectively, trademarks and service marks are referred to as “marks.”What constitutes acceptable marks varies for different countries and may include words, names, symbols, logos, package shapes, designs, devices, fragrances, colors, or sounds.

What is the difference between trade names and trademarks?

A trade name is a name under which a company does business.”General Motors Corporation” is an example of a trade name.A trademark is the word or symbol under which a product or service is advertised and sold. “Chevrolet,” and “Pontiac” are examples of trademarks.

While the same word or name may function as a trade name and trademark, either in whole or in part, the two are legally distinct and serve different legal functions. Therefore, while a word or name may be clear for use as a trade name in a particular state or country, this does not mean that the word or name is available for use as a trademark.A separate clearance procedure must be performed for trademark purposes. More…

Avoiding Patent, Trademark And Copyright Problems

Avoiding Patent, Trademark And Copyright Problems by Thomas G. Field

Patents, copyrights and trademarks, as well as know-how or trade secrets, are often collectively referred to as intellectual property. Many firms have such property withouteven being aware of it or of the need to take measures to protect it.

Many people’s notions of intellectual property are unrealistic. Some believe, for example, that having a patent on a product will enable one to succeed in the marketplace. Consequently, they may spend thousands of dollars to obtain the exclusive rights to market something