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What are the types of trademarks?
The term trademark is commonly used to refer to a broad range of protected marks, including:
• Trademark – Any mark, word, picture, or design that attaches to goods to indicate their source.
• Service Mark – A mark associated with a service.
• Certification Mark – A mark used by someone other than the owner to certify the quality, point of origin, or other characteristics of goods or services.
• Collective Mark – A mark representing membership in a certain organization or association.
• Trade Dress – Trade dress is broader than a single mark. It protects the overall appearance of a business, product, or service. It may include colors or shapes, architectural design, distinctive store decorating motifs or package shapes and colors. It encompasses the “total image and overall appearance” of a business.
⁃ Example: Think about the shape and color of a Pizza Hut or Taco Bell. These brands are identifying by the overall distinctive appearance of its buildings.
Business names or trade names may be the subject of trademark protection. The name must represent the business, product, or brand.
• Discussion: Why do you think the USPTO recognizes multiple classes of mark? Had you previously ever heard of these specific classes of mark? Which one in the group of trademarks is dramatically different than the rest?
• Practice Question: Ellen wants to file for trademark protection of the mark that she uses to represent her business. What are the types of trademark and what do you need to know to determine what type of trademark she will be filing?