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Definitions of Trademarks

15 January, 2016 - 09:34

A trademark is defined in the federal Lanham Act of 1946 as “any word, name, symbol, or device or any combination thereof adopted and used by a manufacturer or merchant to identify his goods and distinguish them from goods manufactured or sold by others.” 1

Examples of well-known trademarks are Coca-Cola, Xerox, and Apple. Aservice mark is used in the sale or advertising of services to identify the services of one person and distinguish them from the services of others. Examples of service marks are McDonald’s, BP, and Hilton. Acertification mark is used in connection with many products “to certify regional or other origin, material, mode of manufacture, quality, accuracy or other characteristics of such goods or services or that the work or labor on the goods or services was performed by members of a union or other organization.” Examples are the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval and UL (Underwriters Laboratories, Inc., approval mark). Unlike other forms of trademark, the owner of the certification mark (e.g., Good Housekeeping, or the Forest Stewardship Council’s FSC mark) is not the owner of the underlying product.