Trademark FAQs

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Q: What is a trademark?

A: Trademark includes any word, name, symbol, or device, or any combination used, or intended to be used, in commerce to identify and differentiate the goods of one manufacturer or seller from goods manufactured or sold by others, and to indicate the source of the goods.


Q: How are trademarks protected?

A: Trademark rights are protected through registration, maintenance, surveillance, and enforcement. These safety measures, and proper use, help protect the ability of marks to point to the source of a product or service to consumers.


Q: Do I have to register my trademark?

A: No, but federal registration has several advantages, including notice to the public of the registrant's claim of ownership of the mark, a legal presumption of ownership nationwide, and the exclusive right to use the mark on or in connection with the goods or services set forth in the registration.


Q: When are trademark rights infringed?

A: Trademark infringement is the illegal use in commerce of any reproduction or imitation of a mark which is likely to cause confusion, or to cause mistake and/or deceive is an act of infringement.


Q: What is a Service mark?

A: A service mark is any name, word, device, symbol, or any combination, used, or intended to be used, in commerce, to identify and distinguish the services of one provider from services provided by others, and to indicate the source of the services.


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