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Trademarks 101

 A trademark is used in business as an indicator of the source of the goods or services offered to consumers, and therefore distinguishes a business’ goods or services from those of others. It is usually a word, short phrase, slogan, symbol, design or combination thereof. However, a product’s shape or its packaging, or even a sound, can be a trademark.


Trademarks help to prevent consumer confusion regarding goods or services they buy, and helps companies protect their goodwill. A trademark allows consumers to quickly, easily, and confidently identify the source of the good or service, and also be assured that the good or service is of a certain quality they have come to expect. For example, the Starbucks mermaid logo is for coffee, BIG MAC is a word mark hamburgers, JUST DO IT is a slogan for athletic wear, and VISA is a service mark for credit card services. A trademark registration can last forever, as long as it still being used, and must be renewed every 15 years (in Canada), and every 10 years in the US.

Examples of Trademarks

Github

Computer services, namely, hosting and maintaining an on-line web site for others to collaboratively develop software; Hosting an on-line community web site featuring a distributed control system for the collaborative development of software

Reddit

Computer services, namely, providing customized on-line web pages and data feeds featuring user-defined information, which includes blog posts, new media content, other on-line content, and on-line web links to other websites, and providing a search engine based on natural language queries on a global computer network;.

Twitch

Computer services, namely, providing customized on-line web pages and data feeds featuring user-defined information, which includes blog posts, new media content, other on-line content, and on-line web links to other websites, and providing a search engine based on natural language queries on a global computer network;

500px

Storage of digital media, namely, images, photography, videos, art files, scanned documents, computer database files, text files, audio data; computerized online search and retrieval services for digital media; retail sales of digital media

Zynga

Entertainment services, namely, providing online computer and electronic games; Entertainment services, namely, providing non-downloadable games on mobile devices

Goodreads

Computer services, namely, creating an on-line community for registered users to participate in discussions, get feedback from their peers, form virtual communities, and engage in social networking