Definition of Trademark

A trademark is a distinctive word, name, phrase, symbol, design, or other device used by a company (or person) to distinguish its goods or services from the goods or services of other companies and to identify itself as the source of its goods or services.

Generally speaking, the terms brand, logo, and mark are simply synonyms for “trademark.” Technically, “trademark” refers to a mark used with goods while “service mark” refers to a mark used with services, but, in practice, “trademark” is used to refer to both types of marks. Look around you, and you will find a trademark associated with virtually every good or service you purchase: Coke for soda, McDonald’s for burgers, Dell for computers, Microsoft for software, Ford for cars, H&R Block for tax services, Netflix for DVD rental services, and so on.