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Patents and Trademarks: Trademarks

Information on how to search for patents and trademarks

What is a trademark?

A trademark is a word, name, symbol, or device that is used in trade with goods to indicate the source of the goods and to distinguish them from the goods of others. A servicemark is the same as a trademark except that it identifies and distinguishes the source of a service rather than a product. The terms “trademark” and “mark” are commonly used to refer to both trademarks and servicemarks.

Trademark rights may be used to prevent others from using a confusingly similar mark, but not to prevent others from making the same goods or from selling the same goods or services under a clearly different mark. Trademarks which are used in interstate or foreign commerce may be registered with the US Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO). The registration procedure for trademarks and general information concerning trademarks is described on USPTO page entitled “Basic Facts about Trademarks”