Skip to main content
What is NOT a Trademark?
Now that we’ve determined what a trademark is, let’s get into more detail about what a trademark is not.

Here are just a couple of examples. If there's something that you're not sure can be protected by a trademark, shoot me a line:
Shannon@tmexpress.com

1) Trade Name


It can be easy to confuse trademarks and trade names so let's get into some detail here. "The terms 'trade name' and 'commercial name' mean any name used by a person to identify his or her business or vocation," is the USPTO provided definition.

Now, a name can be both a trade name AND a trademark. The USPTO determines this based on the specimen.

Here are a couple of examples to illustrate this:


a) "It is our opinion that the foregoing material reflects use by applicant of the notation 'UNCLAIMED SALVAGE & FREIGHT CO.' merely as a commercial, business, or trade name serving to identify applicant as a viable business entity; and that this is or would be the general and likely impact of such use upon the average person encountering this material under normal circumstances and conditions surrounding the distribution thereof."

This means that Unclaimed Salvage & Freight Co. did not or could not show how that name was creating an impression outside of being just the name used to conduct their services.


b) "'LYTLE' is applied to the container for applicant’s goods in a style of lettering distinctly different from the other portion of the trade name and is of such nature and prominence that it creates a separate and independent impression."


This means that Lytle Engineering & Mfg. Co. provided a specimen that clearly showed Lytle, alone, as being unique and distinctive from their trade name, Lytle Engineering & Mfg. Co.


2) Ideas


When folks call asking how to protect their ideas, they're talking about this definition: "any conception existing in the mind as a result of mental understanding, awareness, or activity." This is worth noting because many people express confusion over the concept of ideas when it comes to intellectual property.

Let me provide a couple examples I've heard over the years.


a) "I've got this idea for a clothing line and want to protect it." Now clothing is clothing; there's really nothing new there. Yes, patterns can be unique from one designer to another. If that's the case, look into copyrights.

However, 9 times out of 10, what the person is really saying is that they have an idea based around a brand. This typically means they have a name & logo, which falls into the trademark category.


b) "I've got an idea for a new product." This as well as ideas to significantly improve an existing product is more than likely going to fall into the patent category.


Intangibilities cannot be protected but the various representations of your ideas may be protected be it with a patent, a trademark, a copyright or a combination of two or more.

- Mention our blog & receive $25 off of our Premium Package -
- Put BLOG in the Contact Name field -

Comments

sheela said…
I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Alessandra

http://www.craigslisttool.info
Shannon Moore said…
Thank you Sheela!

If there's any questions you'd like me to answer, please let me know & I'd be happy to dedicate a post to it.
cat said…
be entertained

Popular posts from this blog

$50 Discount: Ends Wednesday, July 20th - Mention the Blog When Ordering

$50 DISCOUNT! Exclusively for you Comprehensive Research & Analysis: Federal/State Trademark & Common-Law Federal Trademark Application Order by Wednesday, July 20! 800-776-0530

So, you finally settled on the perfect name for your product or service – that's fantastic! Finding just the right name is vitally important to the success of any product line or service.
Or, perhaps, we've already searched & filed a trademark for you. If it's been a couple of years, have you had protective research conducted? Do you have a logo or a slogan or a new product/service name?
Regardless if you're new to the world of trademarks or have already gone 'round once, let's walk through a quick primer. Protecting your brand is a vital part of your overall business plan.
Trademark Step-by-Step Primer
1) Is it required that I register my trademark?
No, not at all. However, registering your trademark, specifically your Federal trademark, does provide you with several advantages:
* Pu…

Beware of Official-y Correspondence

Once you get that trademark filed be aware that your information is of public record, which means, unfortunately, some will mine that resource & some of those folks will send you solicitations. 
These solicitations often look very official, and "may use names that resemble the USPTO name, including, for example, one or more of the terms "United States," “U.S.,” "Trademark," "Patent," "Registration," "Office," or "Agency."  
Some will even have documents that resemble actual government documents rather than what you'd expect a company to send and this is often done by "emphasizing official government data like the USPTO application serial number, the registration number, the International Class(es), filing dates, and other information that is publicly available from USPTO records."
Most of these are asking you for money. That's your major warning flag.
"All official correspondence will be from the …

IP Webinar Series: December 9-11th

"The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will co-host a free webinar series to help business owners understand the intellectual property process, starting on Tuesday, December 9.

Register today!
This three-part webinar series will provide participants with insightful tips for success on getting a patent or registering a trademark or copyright." The trademark webinar takes place on December 11th, 1pm-2pm EST. Register here. I'll be there so "see" you on-line!