1. What is a trademark?
A trademark is a brand name which may be in the form of word, symbol, slogan, device, or a combination of these. This can also be in the form of smell, colour or design but has to be registrable and legally protectable. It is equally important for big businesses, entrepreneurs and start-ups.
2. What is a service mark?
A mark, word, phrase, symbol, design or a combination thereof may be used to distinguish the services of one person from that of another, is often referred to as a service-mark.
3. What all can be included in a trademark?
A mark must be properly depicted when the application for registration is made to the USPTO. It is uploaded in the form of a drawing which can be any of these:
§ Standard character drawing: It is the most-simple form of a trademark consisting of words, letters, or numbers only. The drawing in standard character form does not depict any particular font, color, design style, Roman or Arabic numerals etc.
§ Special form: A special form drawing is required to be uploaded in the application for registration when the trademark contains some design element or a design specification such as a particular color, font etc.
So, a trademark may include only letters, words or may even include images, characters, design and style elements. But whatever is included must be clearly depicted in the application for registration.
4. Can I trademark my name?
Yes, you can. But your name must be widely recognized in commerce and must not be in conflict with any other trademark. Authors, actors and other widely known personalities sometimes get their personal names trademarked so that no one else can use their name for marketing products or for earning any kind of profits.