Greetings. I’m Trademark Attorney Josh Gerben and today I want to talk about what is a trademark and what is not a trademark. So let’s start by talking about what a trademark is. Then I’ll talk about what a trademark isn’t, because that’s also a very common question. So, a trademark is normally a name, a slogan, or a logo that represents a brand of products or services.
Naturally, you’re all aware of Nike. Nike, the name itself, is a trademark. The logo, the swoosh, is also a trademark, and then the tagline, “Just do it”, is a trademark itself. So, let’s talk for a second about what is not a trademark. A trademark is not a patent or a copyright. A patent would be if you had an invention, a new technology of some sort that you wanted to protect, and protect that actual invention from being copied by others. A copyright protects a work of art.
So, for example, we’re all normally very familiar with seeing the warnings when you start a DVD. “FBI warning: This video is covered by copyright law.” Copyright law prevents you from copying that DVD and then selling it.
Another way copyright law works is that it protects the entire contents of a book. So, if I were John Grisham and I was writing a novel, that entire novel, all the prose, would be covered by copyright law.
So, just to recap, a trademark is a brand. It’s the name of your product or service. It could be the slogan, or the logo associated with the product or service as well. Thank you very much. If you have any further questions, please feel free to give me a call.