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What_is_a_trademark_anyways_

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					What is a trademark anyways?

Word Count:
515

Summary:
We're not necessarily talking about Elvis' trademark sideburns or
Catherine Hepburn's trademark voice, but that's not too far from the
path.

They're everywhere you look, and yet do you really know what they are?
Trademarks are a strange animal and it's necessary that you get to know
them if you have business endeavors of any kind. Whether you're making
your own trademark or using other trademarks, there's a whole lot to
learn.


Keywords:
trademark,credit,trademarks,credit card,TM,R,registered


Article Body:
We're not necessarily talking about Elvis' trademark sideburns or
Catherine Hepburn's trademark voice, but that's not too far from the
path.

They're everywhere you look, and yet do you really know what they are?
Trademarks are a strange animal and it's necessary that you get to know
them if you have business endeavors of any kind. Whether you're making
your own trademark or using other trademarks, there's a whole lot to
learn.

The definition of trademark is a pretty simple one. It's only later that
the topic gets complicated. Basically, a trademark is just a sign of some
kind that distinguishes a company from all the rest. Trademarks sit under
the umbrella of “intellectual property.” A trademark can come in many
different forms. Maybe it's am image or a a turn of phrase. Paris Hilton
was recently poked fun at for trademarking the phrase “that's hot.”
Indeed, there's a lot of controversy over what can and should be
trademarked.

Are you thinking about buying some intellectual property? If you do, you
will be able to take people to court if they use your trademark without
permission. It's important that your company has a signature and unless
it's protected, it's useless and can be used by just about anyone. A
trademark might seem a simple concept enough, but if you overlook the
issue, it could cost you a lot down the road.

When talking about trademarks, you're bound to get into some murky water.
For instance, some marks, logos, phrases, images, etc, become trademarks
over time, if by chance they simply grow to become synonymous with a
particular product or service. When we think of trademarks in this way,
it's pretty apparent that a trademark is not a narrow concept at all.
Anything that conspicuously distinguishes something from something else,
in a sense, can technically be a trademark.

What about those little circles with the “TM” and “R” in them? What do
they mean? The “TM” refers to trademark and the “R” refers to a
registered trademark. While they serve as gentle reminders that the
trademark is protected by law, they aren't necessary. There are both
unregistered and registered trademarks out there, the latter obviously
carrying more weight in a court of law. Most of the trademarks you see on
TV and in magazines are registered.

Just as with physical property, intellectual property – when handled in
court – is dealt with based on its jurisdiction.

There are five basic kinds of trademarks: distinctive, arbitrary,
suggestive, descriptive, and generic. On the other hand, there are some
symbols that can never be used in trademarks, like national flags. It's
also important to note that national and international trademark law
vary, so especially if you are conducing business overseas, you should be
aware of that.

A trademark can open your company up to all kinds of business and
separate it from the pack, but if it's not formed carefully, it may
misrepresent and misdirect your company. So choose your trademark
intelligently and make sure you understand the law backing it up so that
you can put it to good work.

				
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