FAQ - Trademarks

  1. What is a trademark?
  2. What is a certification mark?
  3. What is a service mark?
  4. How long is the trademark protection term?

1. What is a trademark?

It is a word, name, slogan, symbol or device or any combination of these used to identify the source of the goods and to distinguish it from those of others.  Examples include Coca-Cola®, Google®, Xerox®, Ford automobiles company sign, Chrysler’s diamond.

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2. What is a certification mark?

It is a word, name, symbol, device or a combination used with the owner’s permission by someone other than the owner to certify the quality, material, product or service or if the work is performed by members of an organization. You may have seen UL® mark on appliances, signifying that Underwriter Laboratories conducted the safety testing on the product and they certify that the product meets safety requirements.

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3. What is a service mark?

It is a word, name, slogan, symbol, device or some combination to identify the source of the service as opposed to a product. Examples may include Master Card®, VISA® a financial service.

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4. How long is the trademark protection term?
Trademark protection is granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark office for 10 years from the registration date, and it can be renewed every 10 years provided it is used in commerce.

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