Trademarks are everywhere. Reading through a magazine or watching television for half an hour will expose you to hundreds of trademarks from hundreds of different companies. This post is an intro to trademarks and how they can help a company protect their intellectual property.
What is a Trademark?
A trademark is simply a symbol (such as a logo), word, phrase, or some other distinctive feature that is used by a company to identify its goods or services and to differentiate it from its competition. Nearly every company has a unique logo or phrase associated with its goods or services. Think “Skittles®” and “Taste The Rainbow®”. Go to the Skittles website and look around. You’ll see lots of little ®’s, those indicate a registered trademark.
What Does a Trademark Do?
Trademarks serve two purposes, the first of which is that a trademark gives a company the ability to defend it’s branding. If you have a trademark for a phrase, like “Taste the Rainbow®”, then no other company will be able to use that phrase to promote a similar product or service. If you find out that some other entity is using your trademark without permission, then you have the right to demand that they stop. Doing so strengthens your brand and helps prevent consumer confusion.
The second purpose, and the one trademarks were originally intended for, is that trademarks are intended to help identify the manufacturer or goods. If you have a bag of little candies and want to know who manufactured them you can simply look at the packaging for an identifying trademark like the Skittles logo.
How Can Wellborn, Wallace & Woodard Help?
We have extensive experience working with clients to register and defend their trademarks, and we can do the same for you. Contact us today so that we can discuss your needs.