A trademark is a word, logo, symbol or other indicator that identified the
source of a product or service. Generally, trademark rights arise from
the use of the trademark in association with the product or service in
commerce. In many cases, state laws
provide common law rights once the trademark is used in commerce. Additionally, one may federally register
a trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Not only does Federal registration
provide notice of the trademark to competitors and consumers, various federal
protections arise through Federal Registration. A trademark may be registered with the
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on a name/symbol that is already in use or on a
name/symbol that one "intends to use".
Once this application is filed, the application is examined by a U.S.
Trademark Examiner for various formalities and then a trademark search is
conducted. If the application
is allowed and a trademark is issued from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office,
periodic renewals must be paid (currently every 10 years) in order to maintain
the Federal registration.
For more information
relating to Federal Trademark law, please go to www.uspto.gov
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