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What is a trademark?


Question: What is a trademark?
Answer: The term trademark can refer to any of the different types of marks registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The two most common types are trademarks and service marks. True trademarks are those marks used on goods.


Trademarks are words, names, symbols, devices and images that are used to identify any goods. Goods are physical commodities used in interstate commerce. Goods can be natural, manufactured, or produced.

Service Marks

Service marks can be words, names, symbols, devices and images that are used to identify services. Services are intangible activities, which are performed by one person for the benefit of a person or persons other than himself, either for pay or otherwise.

Other Marks

There are other types of marks that can be registered in the USPTO, but they occur infrequently and have some different requirements for registration than the more commonly applied for trademarks and service marks. They are are: certification marks, collective marks, collective trademarks, collective service marks, and collective membership marks.

Since the benefits conferred by registration are essentially the same for all types of marks, the term trademark is often used in general information that applies to service marks, certification marks, and collective marks as well as to true trademarks (marks used on goods) as defined above.

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