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Trademark Law In A Nutshell

February 20, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 126

Trademarks are words, slogans, sounds or symbols used by businesses to help people easily identify their goods. The Nike swoosh is a good example of a trademark, common to everyone. It helps identify the manufacturer's shoes from others. A trademark does not have to be made up of words or symbols; it can also come as a unique packaging or product shape that manufacturers use in their line of work. All these are protected by what is known as trademark law. Federal and state jurisdictions all protect against trademark infringement. Essentially, trademark law seeks to protect the intellectual property of an individual. Books, songs and even poems are subject to intellectual property law protection.

If anyone abuses a trademark or uses it without the consent of the owner, then they are liable to be sued for trademark infringement. However, in order for a piece of intellectual property to fall under the protective umbrella of trademark law, it has to be distinctive. It needs to be associated solely with the product it seeks to sell or identify. If it is a jingle, song or symbol, it must be easily identifiable to the common man. This simply means that a trademark must be solely associated with a particular product. If it can be associated with more than one product, then protecting it under the trademark law or intellectual property law will be hard.

These are the grounds under which many trademark infringement lawsuits either succeed or fail. Courts have noted that all trademarks must be arbitrary, fanciful, descriptive or suggestive so as to enjoy protection under trademark law. The Apple computer logo, which has no relation to computers, is a good example of an arbitrary trademark. This qualifies it for protection under trademark law.

Now that the specifics of trademark law have been covered, how can a person get protection for their trademarks? How can you qualify for protection under intellectual property law? There are two courses of action that a company should follow so as to ensure that a trademark is protected. The first course of action and perhaps the most effective is using trademark attorney Miami offices to help in registering a trademark in the U.S Patent and Trademark Office. Once a trademark has been registered with the Office, anyone who uses it without the explicit permission of the owner will be committing trademark infringement. Another way that a person can benefit from trademark law protection is by being the first person to use a trademark in the course of business. For example, if a stationery manufacturer has been using a pen as a logo of his business, and his products are identified by that logo, then through custom, that logo is his legal trademark. He enjoys legal ownership of the pen logo and no one else can use it without his express permission. The same applies to persons seeking the protection of intellectual property law. If they were the first to come up with it, then they have a right of ownership of the intellectual property.

Christian Jay Sanchelima is the author of this article on patents. Find more information about intellectual property law here

Source: EzineArticles
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Trademark Law


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Trademark Registration

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