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6 Things Every Marketer Needs To Know About Trademarks

Every Marketer Needs To Know About Trademarks

As a marketer, trademarks and patents can be your friends. For one, they can help legally protect your intellectual property (IP) from theft, fraud, and misuse. They can also help keep the marketplace free from consumer confusion and trickery. This is good for both consumers and businesses. Below is everything you need to know about trademarks.

What Is A Trademark?   

A trademark generally refers to any phrase, word, or symbol that can differentiate your brand’s products or services from competitors in the marketplace. It may include your business name, slogan or catchphrase, logo, and product/service name. Using a trademark can help prevent others from using your intellectual property without consent and authorization.

Furthermore, here are a few things every marketer needs to know about trademarks.

1. Trademark Protects A Product Or Service 

Like copyright protection, trademark protection is an area of law in which general principles are set by case law. Copyright protects expression on paper or another tangible medium. Whereas, trademark protections cover word, name, symbol, or design that identifies the source of goods or services. Trademark protects the goodwill of a brand and reduces opportunities for consumer confusion.

One basic principle behind trademark law is that it can help prevent consumer confusion about sources when choosing between competing products or services. For example, if two companies sell coffee under the same name, consumers may believe they're buying from one company when purchasing from another.

Another example would be if two companies were selling computers and one computer brand was called 'Orange Computers.' Still, another computer brand was called 'Oranges.' This may confuse people as they might think these companies relate when they don't.

For something to qualify as a trademark, it must be distinctive enough to avoid confusing customers into thinking that someone else created their product or service solely on their merit without any outside influence.

2. Companies Need To Conduct Trademark Search Before Registration 

Perhaps one of the reasons why trademark registration could get rejected or take too long to process is because the proposed name matches those already registered or is almost the same as the existing ones. As such, it’d be best to search for trademarks before you proceed with your registration.

Conducting a trademark search is an essential step in the registration process. It can help you to know if the trademark is already used by someone else and the chances of getting it registered without opposition. You can use a trademark lookup to check if what you plan to put on record is still available or has not been taken yet. This way, you could avoid conflict or similar trademarks with other brands.

A trademark search can usually be done using the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) website, state trademark databases, the internet, or through reliable service providers.

3. There Are No Restrictions On The Number Of Products And Services Covered Under A Trademark 

A trademark is a symbol of quality and consistency in the marketplace. This is one of the most important things to know about trademarks. You can use a trademark to sell products and services or promote your brand. You can also use it to promote your company’s products. When an individual identifies a brand as one that offers them what they want at an affordable cost, it can become successful and profitable in their eyes.

Generally, there are no restrictions on the number of products and services covered under a single trademark. Trademarks are generally applied in classes, which are categories based on the nature or purpose of goods or services being offered by the applicant, such as clothing products, pharmaceutical products, consumer electronics, communication services, and others.

That said, applicants may apply for multiple trademarks covering more than one class if they wish. It can allow them to protect their brand regardless of where consumers see it advertised or even if they see it mentioned elsewhere. However, fees will be charged for each class filed.

trademarking

4. Trademarks Can Be Used With An Intent To Sell Products Or Services 

A trademark can be registered for any number of products or services. You don't have to choose just one, and you're not limited by what you're selling today or what you think you might want to sell tomorrow.

For instance, if your product isn't ready yet but has a lot of potential, you can register it as an intent-to-use trademark and start developing the product while your application is pending review.

When you create a website or online business without registering your trademark first, you may risk losing out on advertising revenue if someone else uses it before you do. The same can go for social media platforms.

If someone else has already registered their name as part of their brand, and not just as themselves, you may be unable to use either 'trademarked' name on any platform without permission from that person who owns those rights over them first.

5. Trademarks Can Be Renewed Every 10 Years 

It is crucial to note that trademark laws and the duration may vary depending on your country and location. However, in the United States, trademarks are valid for ten years upon registration and can be renewed every ten years.

In general, trademarks can last for a long time, as long as they are for commerce and you renew in specific time frames. In addition, it can only be possible if the owner applies for the necessary paperwork. They must also comply with other legal requirements.

Alternatively, failure to submit maintenance documents within the given period may cancel your trademark. On that note, canceled trademarks may no longer be reinstated. Thus, you have to file another one when this happens.

6. The Use Of A Trademark Symbol Is Not Mandatory  

Generally, the use of trademark symbols is not a requirement by law. However, it is essential that you know about and understand the proper use of trademarks.

The trademark, or TM symbol, can be used to promote products that do not have federal registration. On the other hand, the service mark, or SM symbol, can be for unregistered services.

Lastly, the registered trademark, or the R symbol, can only be used for items registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office. It is crucial to note that you cannot use the R symbol while your application is still pending. Furthermore, using the R symbol without federal registration may lead to legal consequences.

Conclusion 

Trademarks play an essential role in helping consumers identify products and services from different companies. They can also help protect business owners from unauthorized use by others. Hopefully, you've found these tips helpful and informative.

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