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What is a Trademark?

     A trademark is a form of protection to guarantee that no one can use your trade name. It comes in the form of words and/or logos. In some instances, colors or textures can also be trademarked. Contrary to a patent (where the patent holder gets protection from competitors), the legal essence of trademark protection is to shield the consumer from confusion on the marketplace. A trademark applicant does not have to file for a trademark before using the word or logo; prior use solidifies the applicant’s position as the rightful owner of the mark.

    Trademarks can be either sorted by ‘class’ (similar products) or unclassified. If you do not use a trademark for a set time, it will be ‘expunged’, meaning that others will have the opportunity to use the same word for their own purposes.

    Trademarks offer a narrower scope of protection than patents, since the same word can be used for two completely different products without litigation between the two parties. Read our tips for trademarks.

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