Hamilton Law, PLC Blog

Understanding Trademarks

Posted by Philip E. Hamilton, Esq. | Nov 11, 2021 | 0 Comments

Intellectual property is extremely valuable. To prove it, consider the following: Think about your favorite fast-food chain. If someone had the power to erase every store in the world magically, would that company still be worth money? Absolutely. Despite their inventory and stores being gone, there would be someone—perhaps many—still willing to purchase the company.

This is because the logo or symbol that represents the company is a signal to the world. That logo conveys standards, quality, and it helps set it apart from other products that appear alongside it in any given market. Anything of value needs to be protected. Otherwise, someone else could use your symbols or logos to get consumers to trust them unjustifiably. And if they don't deliver a good product, they could decrease the value of your company.

That is why your trademark is valuable and why it must be protected.

More Than A Logo

Trademarks can be logos. But they can also be phrases, symbols (with or without words), and anything else that identifies one product or service from another. Branding is how people view your company or product. It speaks to your brand. It's the feeling people get when they see or think about your product.

For example, when people think of a Porsche, they might associate the word “fast” with it. By the same account, they would see a Ram truck and think “rugged.” There are symbols associated with each vehicle. When you see one, it may cause you to think of those exact words.

Protecting Your Intellectual Property

To trademark something for your own business, you will need to go through the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). If and when your trademark is approved, you will be able to use this symbol, designating that you legally trademarked it: ® A strong mark is a unique one.

There are four basic categories that trademarks land into. A fanciful mark is the strongest because it is an original word or logo. For example, Rolex, Exxon, and Google are excellent examples. All of those words mean something to you—but they are also made-up words.

Arbitrary marks are a close second in terms of strength. The word doesn't relate to the product directly. The 76 gas station is an arbitrary mark because there is no direct connection between the number and the business.

Suggestive marks like Pinterest are more closely related to the product being sold, whereas Kentucky Fried Chicken is a descriptive mark and is not as strong as a fanciful mark.

Hamilton Law

Hamilton Law provides tailored solutions for your business law needs. We not only take pride in our professional legal services but are honored to offer them to everyone regardless of economic status or race. Contact Hamilton Law for your free consultation if you need to speak with an attorney regarding entity formation, trademarks, or business planning.

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