A trademark is a symbol, sign, or other signifier used to uniquely identify a service or product in connection with a certain brand, company, person, or other legal organization.
In this article, we’ll take a look at a few different facts about trademarks and try to clarify some of the commonly misunderstood aspects of registration, use of TM and SM, and the origins of trademarks themselves.
1. Trademarks are different from copyrights and patents.
A copyright is a type of intellectual property protection that applies to works that carry “unique authorship” and have been “fixed in a tangible medium.” In other words, copyrights are eligible for images, videos, songs, sound recordings, architectural works, and other works–but ideas are not eligible for copyright protection.
Some types of works, including logos, may be eligible for both copyright and trademark protection. However, the scope of these protections are different: a copyright protects the unauthorized use or distribution of an image, while a trademark protects the way the image is used in connection with a service, product, or brand. Trademarks are inherently commercial, while copyrights may not be. » Read more: Trademarks: Five Facts