There are different types of trademarks for products and services. A trademark is any word, name, symbol, or device that identifies the source of a product or service. Each type of mark serves a different purpose and can be used to protect different aspects of a product or service. Fundamentally, there are two broad categories of trademarks: general and specific.
To avoid being scammed, you should be able to identify the many forms of trademarks. This will assist you in protecting your product. However, if you do not follow the safety regulations, you may face severe penalties, including a lawsuit from someone else. You may also face a loss, and help from a Los Angeles Business lawyer can be beneficial.
Since 2018, the number of trademark applications has increased by 12.9%. This trend has been increasing since 2011. Every brand has a unique identity, which is cluttering the market with different trademarks. Therefore, you need to be aware of all different sectors to safeguard intellectual property.
A general trademark is a trademark that is used to identify a type of product or service. For example, the Nike swoosh is a general trademark that can be used on any type of product, from shoes to sporting equipment. General trademarks usually have a wide range of protection because they are not specific to one product or service. As long as the use of the mark does not infringe on another company’s registered trademark, the owner can use it in any way they see fit.
The five types of general trademarks include generic, suggestive, descriptive, arbitrary, and fanciful trademarks.
- Generic Mark: A generic mark is so common that it can never be trademarked, such as “soap” for a soap company.
- Suggestive Mark: A suggestive mark suggests some attribute of the product or service but does not describe it outright, such as “Tasty Treats” for a bakery.
- Descriptive Mark: A descriptive mark simply describes the product or service, such as “flowers” for a flower shop.
- Arbitrary Mark: An arbitrary mark is a general trademark that uses a word or name that has no relation to the product or service. For example, the brand Apple is an arbitrary mark for computers and electronics.
- Fanciful Mark: A fanciful mark is a general trademark that is made up of completely fictitious words, such as “Kodak.” This type of mark is very strong because there is no chance of confusion with any other products or services.
A specific trademark is a trademark that is used to identify a specific product or service. For example, the Coca-Cola logo can only be used on bottles of Coca-Cola and not on Pepsi products. Specific trademarks have a narrower range of protection because they are only valid for the specific product or service they are registered for. There are various types of specific trademarks including certification, collective, and Service marks.
A certification mark is a specific trademark that is used to identify products or services that meet certain standards. For example, the UL logo is a certification mark for electrical products.
A collective mark is a type of specific trademark that is used by a group of people or businesses. A collective mark is usually a word, symbol, or design that is used to identify the group. The most well-known collective mark is the Olympic rings. These rings are used to identify the Olympic Games and the athletes who compete in them.
A service mark is a specific trademark that is used to identify services rather than products. For example, the McDonald’s arches are service marks for restaurant services.
Trademarks can also be classified as either registered or unregistered. A registered trademark is a trademark that is registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). This means that the trademark is protected under federal law. An unregistered trademark is a trademark that is not registered with the USPTO, but is still protected under state law.
What Is the Importance of Trademarks?
The importance of trademarks is that they protect the brand identity of a business. Trademarks can be used to distinguish your products or services from those of your competitors. They can also help you build customer loyalty and goodwill.
The first step in defending your trademark is to apply for a USPTO registration. This will give you the most extensive legal protection available under federal law. Once you become the trademark owner, you can use the ® symbol to indicate that your trademark is registered. This will put others on notice that your trademark is protected and help deter them from using it without permission.
If someone uses your trademark without permission, you can file a lawsuit against them. In order to win, you would need to show that they were using your trademark in a way that was likely to cause confusion among consumers. You could also seek monetary damages from the infringing party.
For more information on how to protect your trademark, contact us for a free case review. Our experienced intellectual property attorney at The Hollywood Lawyer can assist you with all of your trademark needs.