What Kind of Signs Can Be Used for Company’s Trademark?

The trademark may include elements of various types: verbal (including individual letters and numbers), visual (emblems, drawings, signatures, monograms, color combinations), voluminous. Some trademarks are combinations of different types of items. 

A service mark is a designation that identifies services in the same way as a trademark – goods. The trademark and service mark are identical in nature.

The legislation of the American Federation allows registration of the following types of Sign Engineering Services:

  • Verbal – individual words or their combinations, letter combinations, whole phrases, neologisms and invented words. Examples are PlayStation, Samsung, Village House, Fujifilm, and others.
  • Company slogan, motto (“I’m loving it”, “Manage your Dream”, “After all, we deserve it”, etc.).
  • Various images – animals, people, things, natural objects, abstract shapes, lines and spots. For example, Michelin man, Renault rhombus, Nike checkmark.
  • Combined means of individualization, in which there are both voluminous, and textual components, and drawings. Such trademarks include product logos and labels, for example, Maximum Radio, McDonald’s, Camel cigarette packaging, etc.
  • Three-dimensional designations consisting of one or more figures. As such trademarks, the original packaging of the goods is usually registered.
  • All the rest are light, olfactory, sound (call signs of radio programs, TV screensavers).

Rights to registered trademarks, including logos may belong to both the enterprise and the individual, and you can own any number of trademarks.

When creating a trademark, you must follow the provisions of the Civil Code. This task is somewhat different from the development of similar signs – emblems, logos, etc. – for non-commercial use.

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A trademark is the face of a company, individual product or service, product line. Its main function is to identify and advantageously position the product, its manufacturer or seller, so the trademark must meet the following requirements:

  • be easily recognizable;
  • read quickly without loss of content;
  • reflect the specialization of the company, the nature of the service, the advantages of the goods;
  • do not mix with other people’s trademarks;
  • be potentially protected.

A quality trademark of any type is concise and understandable to the consumer, instantly recognizable, but does not seem primitive. Trademarks, especially logos, should distinguish a product from homogeneous products, and a company from competitors, be associated with its carrier, and always (therefore, it is undesirable to make a logo or trademark fashionable or unnecessarily complex).

The scope of trademarks is very wide, and this is their difference from logos. The logo and color scheme form the basis of the corporate identity of the company, in accordance with which its products, offices, advertising materials of all kinds, and the corporate website are designed.

Trademark owners can indicate next to its logo or name that this designation is registered in the American Federation as a trademark and that its rights are protected. This marking is a guarantee of the authenticity of the purchased goods to the buyer.

In some countries (Japan, China) the use of warning labels is fixed in law. It is recommended that logos and other signs individualizing the manufacturer be provided with a mark in the form of the letter R (with or without a circle) or the words “trademark”, “registered mark”. Also widely used are Trademark, TM (worldwide), Registered Trademark (in the UK), Marque déposée (in French-speaking countries, primarily France and Belgium), Marca Registrada (in Latin countries) America). However, their use, according to Article 5D of the Paris Convention, is not mandatory, and the copyright holder of the trademark decides whether to put an appropriate mark next to the logo.

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Unlike these countries, in the USA there is no legally established analogue of such marking. In practice, entrepreneurs supply their trademarks and logos with the letter R or the text “Registered Trademark (Trademark)”. But the use of such marks for logos, company names and other signs that are not registered as trademarks is fraught with criminal liability under article 180 of the Criminal Code.

This is all basic trademark information. Now we turn to the question of what is the difference between a trademark and a logo. Both of these terms indicate the means of individualization of goods and companies, but there are significant differences between them.

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