A “trademark” (less commonly called a “service mark”) can be a single word, phrase, symbol, or design that identifies and distinguishes the source of goods or services.
Some trademarks are a combination of words and symbols, and many evolve over time. For example, Target’s trademark has become a red bull’s eye, now widely recognized by consumers throughout the world without the need for words.
Trademarks allow consumers to readily recognize the quality of a particular product or service, creating a standardized expectation. This is called goodwill. By using trademarks in marketing and advertising, businesses develop their trademark’s goodwill, increasing consumer recognition and long-term growth.
Trademark laws provide protection for this created goodwill and protect trademark owners by awarding them category specific exclusive rights in the use of their “marks.” Trademark laws not only protect consumers, but also reward businesses who have created a reputation for their trademark goodwill.
Interested in trademark protection for your business? Contact one of our trademark attorneys today at 913.345.0900.