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Trademark FAQ

  1. What is a Trademark?
    A ' trademark' may consist of a word or invented word, signature, device, brand, letter, numeral, heading, label, name written in a particular style, the shape of goods other than those for which a mark is proposed to be used, or any combination thereof or a combination of colors and so forth. Subject to certain circumstances, a trademark may also be symbolized by the name of a person, living or dead. For the purpose of registration, a mark chosen should be capable of distinguishing goods or services of one person from those of the others. Further it should not be unrepresentatively similar to an existing mark of another person and not the one expressly prohibited under the Act.
  2. What is a service mark?
    A service mark is any word, name, symbol, device, 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. A Service mark is the same as a trademark except that it identifies and distinguishes the source of a service rather than a product.
  3. What is a collective mark?
    A Collective mark is a service mark or trademark used, or intended to be used, in commerce, by the members of a cooperative, an association, or other collective group or organization, including a mark which indicates membership in a union, an association, or other organization.
  4. What is a Trade Name?
    A trade name is a company name. Some trade names are also used in a way that makes them trademarks as well. If they use the former, then ACME remains a trade name only. If they use the latter, then ACME is both a trade name, because ACME it is the name to identify their company, and a trademark, because they identify the source of their products with the word, "ACME".
  5. How are trademarks, copyrights and patents different?
    A trademark is different from a copyright or a patent or geographical indication. A copyright protects a literary work or original artistic; a patent protects an invention whereas a geographical indication is used to identify services or goods having special characteristics originating from a definite territory. Patents protect discoveries and designs, new inventions while copyrights protect original works of authorship such as computer programs, paintings, sculpture and architectural designs. Trademarks do not protect creation or inventiveness at all. In fact, a trademark can be acquired with no innovative or creative input from the owner whatsoever.
  6. What is the difference between a trade name and a trademark?
    A business name or trade name is the name which identifies a business. It is either the formal name under which a business is organized or incorporated or the assumed or fictitious business name adopted by the business. A trademark or service mark is the word(s), logo, or slogan used in connection with goods or services, such as a brand name. Often Trade names are used as services marks or trademarks but this is not always the case.
  7. What a trademark does?
    Trademarks benefit both businesses and individuals. They allow businesses to build an identity and reputation with clients, and thus grow or expand. Trademarks also allow individuals to be better consumers. Indeed, Trademark law is the original consumer protection statute. It ensures that consumers can show again their positive buying experiences by searching out familiar brand names, and avoid bad buying experiences by steering clear of brands they didn't like.