MARK: Hello everyone..And welcome to the.Trademark Information Network..I'm Mark Trademan..Here at the network, we are.dedicated to bringing you the.most up-to-date.information about trademarks..What they are..Why they're important..And how a trademark.registration can help you grow.your business..In addition, we want you to.know how to apply to register.your trademark with the.federal government and,.if successful, keep.that registration alive..Hope you'll stay with us.throughout the news cycle..But first, let's.establish some background..Specifically, what.exactly is a trademark?.And how is that.different from a patent?.Or a copyright?.Standby for some.intellectual property basics..If you've ever wanted to.\"copyright that patent on your.trademark\" or \"patent that.trademark on your copyright,\".you're not alone..People often.confuse these words,.but the concepts are.actually quite simple,.once you learn.more about them..For example....Patents protect new.and useful inventions,.like engines and solar panels,.or improved methods for making.things..Trademarks indicate the source.of products or services and.include brand names,.slogans, and logos..Copyrights protect original.works that contain creative.expression, like.books, articles,.songs, movies, paintings,.and sculpture – even software.code..So, as you can.see, trademarks,.patents, and copyrights each.protect different types of.intellectual.property: inventions,.brands, and creative works..How do they work together?.Well, let's say you invented.a new type of vacuum cleaner..You might get a patent to.protect the invention itself..You might register a trademark.to protect the brand name of.the vacuum cleaner..And you might register.a copyright for the TV.commercial that you use.to market your product,.or even for the.product manual..The different types of intellectual.property may all work together,.but they are not the same..So, while you can never.\"trademark that copyright on your patent,\".you can spend.your money wisely.and protect the intellectual property.most important to your business..And, if you're watching this,.that most important asset is.probably your trademark..So, let's delve a little.deeper into what a trademark.is and why you'd.want to protect one,.by turning to our.Senior News Analyst,.Grant Gainsworth..GRANT: Ancient stone seals..Ceramic pots..Clay bricks..Crumbling now, but still.forming the solid foundation.of modern trademark law..From the time that humans.began to roam the Earth,.people have used.marks to indicate.the maker or.producer of goods..Egyptians, Greeks, and.Romans, for example,.all used marks.to indicate.who made particular.bricks and ceramics..And, in the case.of the Romans,.who was to blame should.the brickwork fail....Though the uses of trademarks,.and their complexity and.design, have evolved, the.central meaning of trademarks.has remained the same:.trademarks indicate source..Essentially, a trademark.is any word, letter,.number, design,.or combination of those,.that identifies one party as.the source of particular goods.and services..Makes sense, right?.When you see a logo.on a digital camera,.or a bunch of.bananas, or a pair of jeans,.you know who made or.produced those goods..You use the logo to.distinguish the goods you want.from the goods made or.produced by a competing brand..Which explains why.trademarks are so important..Over time,.trademarks gain reputations..Sometimes good; sometimes bad..But consumers come to expect a.certain level of quality based.upon that reputation, which.then drives their purchasing.decisions..MARK: So the question then.becomes:.\"How do I get a trademark?\" and.\"How do I protect it?\".For answers, we turn to.investigative reporter Camille.Ki Kwon..CAMILLE: Those are.great questions,.Mark, and they bring up a.fairly common misconception..There's a difference between.using or \"getting\" a trademark.and owning a federal.registration for that.trademark..Here's how it works..As Grant said,.anytime you use a word,.letter, number,.slogan, design,.or combination of these, to.indicate the source of goods.or services in.the marketplace,.that's a trademark..Basically, there are two ways.to protect your mark: you can.protect it under common law or.you can federally register it.and gain.additional protection..You create common law rights.when you first start using.your trademark..But: your rights are created.under state law and are tied.to your use of the mark..So, if you only use it in.a limited geographic area,.your enforceable rights.may only cover a limited.geographic area..That's in contrast to what.happens when you federally.register your mark..When you register your.trademark with the USPTO,.your rights become.nationwide rights..MARK: What kinds of.rights are you talking about?.CAMILLE: Well, according to.several officials here at the.office, there are quite a few..The greatest is.nationwide protection..Specifically, a federal.registration creates a legal.presumption that you have the.exclusive right to use that.mark throughout.the country and U.S..territories..In addition, it puts the.public on notice that you have.that right..And, should you encounter.unauthorized use of your mark.by another party, you can sue.that party in federal court.for infringement of.your registered mark..Plus, you can use your.registration as a basis for.registering your mark in a.foreign country and to stop.counterfeit and infringing.goods from entering this.country..Those are some.pretty powerful tools..MARK: So, it sounds like.federal registration has.significant benefits..Does the USPTO help.enforce and defend rights in a.registered mark?.CAMILLE: No..That duty belongs to the.individual trademark owner..But, according to.one of my sources,.registration does provide a.sort-of \"automatic\" layer of.protection..If you have a live federal.registration and someone else.tries to register a.confusingly similar mark for.related goods or services,.the Office will refuse.registration of that mark.as part of the thorough.examination process that the Office.performs on every application..So, while the USPTO.doesn't \"defend\" your mark,.per se, the registration.process itself does provide a.first line of defense..Frequently, when.applicants receive a refusal.based on your.prior registration,.they simply.choose another mark,.saving you the trouble.(and the expense) of having to.negotiate or.litigate with them..MARK: Got it..Now, what about \"TM\" and.\"SM\" and \"R in the circle.\".How do those fit in?.CAMILLE: Right..Good question..Think back to the two kinds of.trademark rights I mentioned earlier:.common law and.federally registered..\"TM\" and \"SM\" indicate a.common law trademark or.service mark..The \"R in the circle\" symbol.indicates you've registered it.with the federal government..MARK: But, to be clear, you're.saying that a person can have.and use a trademark without.ever registering it with the USPTO..CAMILLE: That's right..There's no requirement that.you register your mark with.the USPTO, or with your state..But: if you don't get a.federal registration,.you miss out on powerful tools.and remedies that can help you.better protect your mark..MARK: Not to mention using.the \"R in the circle\" symbol, right?.CAMILLE: That's right..Gotta get that \"R\"....MARK: Absolutely..Thanks, Camille..CAMILLE: Anytime!.MARK: Grant?.Any final words?.GRANT: So, remember, folks:.a trademark can be.any word, letter,.number, design, or.combination of those,.that indicates the source of.particular goods and services..Federal registration of.your mark is not required,.but it does grant you a.powerful set of rights that.you can use to.protect your mark..Rights that ancient.brickmakers in Rome.never would have dreamed of....MARK: Thanks, guys..Fascinating stuff..And that's about all the time.we have for this broadcast,.ladies and gentlemen..But don't worry..We have plenty.more videos for you,.covering many.of the major.concepts of.trademark registration..All of them.available on USPTO.GOV..MARK: And while.you're on the website,.be sure to check out all of.the other provided information.and electronic resources..You can learn more.trademark basics,.from how to select a strong.mark to how to avoid filing.for a mark that is.likely to cause confusion..You can then use the Trademark.Electronic Search System.(or TESS, T-E-S-S).to search for conflicting.registered and.applied-for marks.before filing..Use the Trademark Electronic.Application System.(or TEAS, T-E-A-S).to actually.apply for registration..And use the Trademark Status.and Document Retrieval system.(or TSDR).to check the.status of,.as well as access.all the documents in,.your trademark.application or registration..You can also get in-depth.answers to your specific.questions about how the Office.will examine your application.by consulting the TMEP,.or Trademark Manual of.Examining Procedure..It's the Office's resource for.everything you need to know.about applying to register.a trademark with the USPTO..MARK: Remember: trademark.rights are legal rights..And the federal.registration process.is a legal proceeding.governed by U.S. law..If you need assistance when.applying to register your mark,.you should hire an.experienced trademark attorney,.licensed to practice law.in the United States,.to represent you..And remember: if you are a.foreign-based applicant,.you must hire a U.S..licensed attorney.to represent you..For Camille Ki Kwon.and Grant Gainsworth,.I'm Mark Trademan,.Trademark Information Network..Thanks for joining us..