Trademarks may be a phrase, slogan, word, graphical design, or other distinctive means that can be used to inform a person of the source of a product. They distinguish the registered products from others. In the case of Service Marks, they distinguish the registered services from others. A trademark may be filed with current actual use in the marketplace or with intent to use. Intent-to-use applications allow applicants to file for protection prior to revealing and using their trademarks. Service marks are similar to trademarks except that they protect a service as opposed to a product. A significant advantage to trademarks is that they can be indefinitely renewed as long as they are being used.
Why register a trademark with the federal government?
- An owner is entitled to significantly greater damages (money) as compared to an unregistered trademark owner.
- Provides notice to the entire country that the trademark is taken.
- Creates product recognition and brand loyalty.
- Makes it more difficult for others to copy the trademark.