What is a trademark?

Are you interested in using a new name as your trademark? A few of the questions provided below will help you understand trademarks. Filing a trademark is legal process with a tremendous amount of legal loopholes.

Is the word a trademark?

A trademark is considered a source identifier in interstate commerce. It helps identify the origin of a specific service or product. For example, when you purchase COLGATE toothpaste you would need assurance that you received that product that you purchased is what you expected. You did not want to purchase SENSODYNE, AIM, or any other brand. COLGATE is a federally registered trademark of the PALMOLIVE Company, which manufactures the tube of COLGATE that you are interested in purchasing. In other words, it identifies the source of the TUBE you just purchased to ensure that you received what you intended to purchase.

Services are the same. When you go to the APPLE  store to purchase a phone, you are going to the APPLE store with the intention that APPLE will be providing you your phone. You don’t want VERIZON to provide the phone and you don’t want SPRINT. You want AT&T.

Is a trademark required?

In the United States, the mere use of a name in relation to offering a good or service automatically creates a trademark in that name. The question is whether you need to federally register that trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (also referred to as the USPTO). Another question is whether your use of that trademark is potentially infringing on an already-in use trademark. Keep in mind that your use of a mark does not have to be identical to become infringement. Rather, the question is whether your mark is confusingly similar to another trademark. Because these questions are tricky to determine, it is strongly suggested that you contact an attorney that is well-versed in this area of law. They will need to assess your current circumstances to determine whether a federally-registered trademark is in your best interest.