Generally, a trademark is a symbol, a design or logo of some kind, a slogan, a device, a musical jingle, or even a trade name like Frank Finkelstein’s Fabulous Falafel, which can uniquely distinguish your goods or services from all similar goods or services available in the market place.
The life of a trademark begins with a great idea for a mark or device that can absolutely singularize your product or service from all other competitors out there.
But that is only the starting point.
The odyssey for securing a trade identity really begins when the company needs to meet the challenge of doing all the things necessary to hold on tight to that very unique, differentiating and identifying mark and formally keep the mark for use as its very own.
Imagine this . . . You have commissioned a graphic designer to come up with the perfect logo for your business.
After a while the designer comes back with your finished logo.
You are perfectly happy.
You pay the money.
The job is complete.
You assume you own the logo and are free to use it anytime, any place, anywhere.
Unfortunately, this may be the start of your troubles, because unless you have a documented transfer of the copyright by way of an assignment from the designer, the logo is still owned by the designer.
The job is, therefore, not finished, as the copyright issues are still hanging in the balance.
Payment Does Not Confer Automatic Copyright or Intellectual Property Ownership
So, this scenario may be extreme, after all, you have commissioned a logo – your brand identity – and what else are you going to do with your brand identify apart from use it wherever and whenever you can?