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What is a trademark? A trademark includes any word, name, symbol, or device, or any combination, used, or intended to be used, in commerce to identify and distinguish the goods of one manufacturer or seller from goods manufactured or sold by others, and to indicate the source of the goods.  In short, a trademark is a brand name.

What is a service mark? A service mark is any word, name, symbol, device, or any combination, used, or intended to be used, in commerce, to identify and distinguish the services of one provider from services provided by others, and to indicate the source of the services.

What is a certification mark? A certification mark is any word, name, symbol, device, or any combination, used, or intended to be used, in commerce with the owner’s permission by someone other than its owner, to certify regional or other geographic origin, material, mode of manufacture, quality, accuracy, or other characteristics of someone's goods or services, or that the work or labor on the goods or services was performed by members of a union or other organization.

What is a collective mark? A collective mark is a trademark or service mark used, or intended to be used, in commerce, by the members of a cooperative, anassociation, or other collective group or organization, including a mark which indicates membership in a union, an association, or other organization.

Do I have to register my trademark? No, but federal registration has several advantages, including notice to the public of the registrant's claim of ownership of the mark, a legal presumption of ownership nationwide, and the exclusive right to use the mark on or in connection with the goods or services set forth in the registration.

What are the benefits of federal trademark registration? 1. Constructive notice nationwide of the trademark owner's claim. 2. Evidence of ownership of the trademark. 3. Jurisdiction of federal courts may be invoked. 4. Registration can be used as a basis for obtaining registration in foreign countries. 5. Registration may be filed with U.S. Customs Service to prevent importation of infringing foreign goods.

 
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