Trademarks

A “trademark” is typically defined as a word, phrase, symbol, and/or design that identifies and distinguishes the source of a party’s goods from those of another party. A “service mark” is a word, phrase, symbol, and/or design that identifies and distinguishes the source of a service rather than a good. Generally, the term “trademark” is often used to refer to both trademarks and service marks. Well-known examples of trademarks include: Apple®, IBM®, McDonalds®, Google®, and Nike®. Equally well-known examples of service trademarks include: American Express®, American Airlines®, Amtrak®, Hilton Hotels®, and even the distinctive exhaust sound from a Harley-Davidson® motorcycle. Incidentally, the ® symbol represents a trademark or service mark registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office while the “TM” symbol represents a trademark or service mark yet to be or unable to be federally-registered.

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