trade·mark /'trād-ˌmärk/ n: a mark that is used by a manufacturer or merchant to identify the origin or ownership of goods and to distinguish them from others and the use of which is protected by law see also dilution, infringement, strong mark, weak mark; trademark act of 1946 in the important laws section compare copyright, patent, service mark
◇ The Patent and Trademark Office registers trademarks and service marks that are used in interstate commerce or in intrastate commerce that affects interstate commerce. There are also state registration statutes for marks used in intrastate commerce. A trademark or service mark need not be registered for an owner to enforce his or her rights in court. The common law recognizes ownership of a trademark, established by actual and first use of the mark, but it extends only to the areas or markets where the mark is used. Federal registration of a trademark gives rise to a federal cause of action for infringement in addition to the common-law claim. Registration also serves as evidence of the owner's exclusive right to the continuous use and validity of the mark, and as constructive notice to the world of the claim to the mark. To be a valid trademark at common law and for federal registration, a mark must be distinctive; a descriptive mark may become distinctive by acquiring secondary meaning.

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of Law. . 1996.

I noun badge, brand, countermark, countersign, hallmark, identification, imprint, label, mark, signet, symbol, ticket, trade sign II index brand, denomination, designation (symbol), device (distinguishing mark), indicant, symbol

Burton's Legal Thesaurus. . 2006

A name, symbol or logo which belongs to a company or person and is capable of being associated with its products or services. Its value lies in the goodwill associated with the mark in the minds of customers. Ownership and protection of trademarks is important. Those trade-marks which qualify can be registered with the Trade Marks Registry. The use of trade marks can be licensed to third parties. The owner can prevent unauthorised use or infringement of trade marks which are registered - even if not registered a passing off action may be available.

Easyform Glossary of Law Terms. — UK law terms.

A name, word, symbol, or device used by the manufacturer of a product to identify that product and distinguish it from other similar ones produced by competitors, which can be registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office; also called a mark. See also copyright, patent, trade name

The Essential Law Dictionary. — Sphinx Publishing, An imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. . 2008.

a particular name or design used to identify a particular product. Registration of such a name or design as a trademark has the consequence that it cannot be used by other manufacturers in respect of their own products.

Collins dictionary of law. . 2001.

A word, phrase, logo, graphic symbol, or other device that is used to identify the source of a product or service and to distinguish it from competitors. Some examples of trademarks are Ford (cars and trucks), Betty Crocker (food products), and Microsoft (software). For all practical purposes, a service mark is the same as a trademarkexcept that trademarks promote products while service marks promote services. Some familiar service marks include McDonalds (food services), FedEx (delivery services), and Fidelity (financial services).
Category: Patent, Copyright & Trademark → Trademark Law

Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary. . 2009.

A type of intellectual property, a trademark is a word, name, symbol, color, sound or other device (or any combination of them) used to indicate the source or origin of goods or services and distinguish the goods of one party from those of another. A service mark is the same as a trademark, except that it identifies the source of a service rather than a good. Trademark owners generally have the right to exclude others from using their trademarks for the same or similar goods or services.
In the US, trademark rights are acquired and maintained through commercial use of the mark on the relevant goods or in connection with the relevant services. Trademark rights are protected at the federal level by the Lanham Act(for trademarks used in or affecting interstate commerce) and at the state level by common law unfair competition principles and state trademark statutes. Trademarks eligible for federal protection may be registered with the US Patent and Trademark Office. While registration of a trademark is not required, it provides additional rights and benefits beyond those available under common law. Unlike copyright or patent rights, trademark rights can be maintained indefinitely, provided that the trademark continues to be used in commerce.
For further information, see Practice Note, Intellectual Property: Overview: Trademarks (

Practical Law Dictionary. Glossary of UK, US and international legal terms. . 2010.

1 Any phrase, name, word, or graphic logo used by one manufacturer or marketer to distinguish its products from those of all others. A trademark's main purpose is to assure the genuineness of an article, and it is roughly equivalent to a commercial signature. For a trademark to be eligible for federal protection, it must be distinctive, attached to a product that is actually marketed, and registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
2 The body of law that is concerned with how businesses uniquely differentiate their products.

Webster's New World Law Dictionary. . 2000.

A word, name, symbol, or devise used by a manufacturer to distinguish his goods from those sold by others.

Short Dictionary of (mostly American) Legal Terms and Abbreviations.

   a distinctive design, picture, emblem, logo or wording (or combination) affixed to goods for sale to identify the manufacturer as the source of the product. Words that merely name the maker (but without particular lettering) or a generic name for the product are not trademarks. Trademarks may be registered with the U.S. Patent Office to prove use and ownership. Use of another's trademark (or one that is confusingly similar) is infringement and the basis for a lawsuit for damages for unfair competition and/or a petition for an injunction against the use of the infringing trademark.
   See also: trade name

Law dictionary. . 2013.

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  • trademark — (n.) 1838 (the thing itself attested continuously from 14c.), from TRADE (Cf. trade) (n.) + MARK (Cf. mark) (1). Figurative use by 1869. As a verb, from 1904. Related: Trademarked; trademarking …   Etymology dictionary

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