1

trademark

noun trade·mark \ -ˌmärk \
Updated on: 13 Oct 2017

Definition of trademark

1 :a device (such as a word) pointing distinctly to the origin or ownership of merchandise to which it is applied and legally reserved to the exclusive use of the owner as maker or seller
2 :a distinguishing characteristic or feature firmly associated with a person or thing
  • wearing his trademark bow tie and derby hat

Examples of trademark in a Sentence

  1. “Kleenex” is a registered trademark.

  2. Outspokenness has always been his trademark.

  3. Courtesy is the company's trademark.

Recent Examples of trademark from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'trademark.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of trademark

1839


2

trademark

verb

Definition of trademark

transitive verb
:to secure trademark rights for :register the trademark of

Recent Examples of trademark from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'trademark.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of trademark

1881


Financial Definition of TRADEMARK

trademark

What It Is

A trademark is any legally-protected abstract or figural representation or slogan associated with a company or product that deliberately differentiates it in the market.

How It Works

A trademark is a marketing device that visually sets a company or product apart from similar items trying to gain market share. Trademarks are forms of intellectual property that are unique to a company and or its products. Slogans, symbols, or inventive catchphrases are common examples of trademarks. Companies legally register their trademarks with the appropriate authorities in order to prevent competing companies from copying (called infringing upon) their trademark or trademarks (explicitly designated by the superscripted "TM"). Infringing on a registered trademark is illegal and may be used as justification for legal action by the company which legal rights to that trademark.

To illustrate, suppose company XYZ produces a cleaning solution for eye glasses called CrystalensTM (a clever contraction of the words "crystal" and "lens") for which they have a valid registered trademark. Should another company infringe upon this trademark by copying the name Crystalens verbatim or in part, then company XYZ is justified in suing the infringing party.

Why It Matters

In addition to differentiating companies and products in a given market, the use of trademarks is a marketing strategy that encourages recognition and association of some level of quality among consumers. Registered trademarks ensure fair, competitive practices in the market while protecting the owner of the intellectual property rights.


TRADEMARK Defined for English Language Learners

trademark

noun

Definition of trademark for English Language Learners

  • : something (such as a word) that identifies a particular company's product and cannot be used by another company without permission

  • : a quality or way of behaving, speaking, etc., that is very typical of a particular person, group, or organization


TRADEMARK Defined for Kids

trademark

noun trade·mark \ ˈtrād-ˌmärk \

Definition of trademark for Students

:a device (as a word) that points clearly to the origin or ownership of merchandise to which it is applied and that is legally reserved for use only by the owner

Medical Dictionary

trademark

noun trade·mark \ ˈtrād-ˌmärk \

medical Definition of trademark

:a device (as a word or mark) that points distinctly to the origin or ownership of merchandise to which it is applied and that is legally reserved for the exclusive use of the owner — compare service mark

Law Dictionary

trademark

noun trade·mark \ ˈtrād-ˌmärk \

legal Definition of trademark

:a mark that is used by a manufacturer or merchant to identify the origin or ownership of goods and to distinguish them from others and the use of which is protected by law — see also dilution, infringement, strong mark, weak mark, Trademark Act of 1946 — compare copyright, patent, service mark
Note: The Patent and Trademark Office registers trademarks and service marks that are used in interstate commerce or in intrastate commerce that affects interstate commerce. There are also state registration statutes for marks used in intrastate commerce. A trademark or service mark need not be registered for an owner to enforce his or her rights in court. The common law recognizes ownership of a trademark, established by actual and first use of the mark, but it extends only to the areas or markets where the mark is used. Federal registration of a trademark gives rise to a federal cause of action for infringement in addition to the common-law claim. Registration also serves as evidence of the owner's exclusive right to the continuous use and validity of the mark, and as constructive notice to the world of the claim to the mark. To be a valid trademark at common law and for federal registration, a mark must be distinctive; a descriptive mark may become distinctive by acquiring secondary meaning.


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