Trademark law is a subset of unfair business competition, the general purpose of which is to prevent a business or entrepreneur from misrepresenting the nature or quality of its products or services, or passing off its products or services as the products or services of another.
Trademark law addresses the overlapping and conflicting uses of trademarks, services marks, design marks, business slogans and tag lines, packaging, and trade dress by different entrepreneurs and businesses. Commonly, trademark law is applied to resolve disputes when competing businesses adopt similar trademarks to identify thier businesses, products, service names or logos to in the public arena. The laws for resolving these disputes generally favor whichever entrepreneur or business was first to use the name, logo, slogan, tag line, or trade dress on a category of goods or services. These laws derive from decisions of federal and state courts and from federal and state statutes established specifically to address trademark ownership.
What is a Trademark?
In short, a trademark consists of any word, name, symbol, figure, letter, or device used by a business, manufacturer, entrepreneur, merchant to identify and distinguish their products or services from those sold or offered by others.
A trademark helps represent a level of quality and identity that consumers can associate with a particular business, service, or product. It is a short-cut that enables a business to convey through the use of their mark, a level of desirability in order to induce a purchaser to select their product. Trademarks can be placed on signs, advertisements, product labels, product packaging, and other marketing materials. Trademarks can be seen, heard, and even touched. A trademark is a form of trade identity for a business that, if properly promoted, can gain enormous value.