trademark

noun
trade·​mark | \ ˈtrād-ˌmärk How to pronounce trademark (audio) \

Definition of trademark

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

trademark

verb
trademarked; trademarking; trademarks

Definition of trademark (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to secure trademark rights for : register the trademark of

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Synonyms for trademark

Synonyms: Noun

brand

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Examples of trademark in a Sentence

Noun

“Kleenex” is a registered trademark. Outspokenness has always been his trademark. Courtesy is the company's trademark.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The makeover relied heavily on Bell, whose patient running style became his trademark while helping Pittsburgh to four straight playoff berths. Will Graves, The Seattle Times, "Steelers RB Le’Veon Bell refuses to sign tag, out for 2018," 14 Nov. 2018 The defenseman was trying to get into a rhythm of moving his feet quicker and getting rid of the puck quicker – all without losing his trademark style of play. Richard Morin, azcentral, "In wake of injuries, defenseman Luke Schenn getting new opportunity with Arizona Coyotes," 31 Mar. 2018 Because of technology at the time, Child’s cooking mishaps were captured on TV, which became part of her trademark style of demystifying how to cook. Samantha Cassetty, NBC News, "Women who changed the way we eat," 26 Mar. 2018 After all, haven’t some of the most stylish people in history honed a look based on a simple trademark? Liz Mcdaniel, Vogue, "I Love My Husband— I Didn’t Always Love His Headband," 4 Feb. 2019 The case involves a Los Angeles designer whose Fuct clothing line was denied a trademark. Jess Bravin, WSJ, "Supreme Court Again to Consider Partisan Gerrymandering," 4 Jan. 2019 Trade dress is the most challenging type of trademark to secure in fashion, and the trickiest to defend. Kaitlyn Tiffany, Vox, "Can Vans really sue Target for a cheap look-alike of its most famous skater shoe?," 26 Dec. 2018 Prince Harry's beard is somewhat of a trademark at this point. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Prince Harry Looks Exactly Like a Young Prince Charles & Fans Are Going Wild," 17 Nov. 2018 For OnePlus, the failure to secure a trademark around Dash Charge is quite a major setback. Vlad Savov, The Verge, "OnePlus is getting sued by Bragi over Dash brand it’s no longer using," 24 Sep. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The Kardashians regularly trademark names associated with their future ventures, meaning that a plethora of new products could be coming very soon. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Kardashians Want to Trademark "Stormiworld" & All of Their Children's Names," 18 Feb. 2019 What is microfeathering: Microfeathering is a form of microblading, and a technique created (and trademarked) by eyebrow artist-to-the-stars Kristie Streicher. Deanna Pai, Glamour, "Microblading, Microshading, and Microfeathering: What's the Difference?," 23 Dec. 2018 The singer and performer trademarked the name Haus Beauty back in February 2018, and fans have been eagerly awaiting the release of the brand ever since. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Lady Gaga's New Cosmetics & Skincare Line—Haus Beauty—Now Has a Website," 31 Dec. 2018 For the most part, fashion copyright laws are set up to protect more tangible things — proprietary fabrics and other technical components, brand names, and logos — which can be patented or easily trademarked. Kaitlyn Tiffany, Vox, "Can Vans really sue Target for a cheap look-alike of its most famous skater shoe?," 26 Dec. 2018 Peatos has applied to trademark the tagline with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Annie Gasparro, WSJ, "Cat Fight: Cheetos Maker Pepsi Challenges Orange Snack Rival," 21 Aug. 2018 Scrabble was first trademarked as such in 1948, after it was thought up under a different name in 1933 by Alfred Mosher Butts, an out-of-work architect in Poughkeepsie, New York. Leanne Itali, The Seattle Times, "Yowza! Scrabble dictionary update adds ‘OK,’ ‘ew’ to official play," 24 Sep. 2018 Since they weren’t trademarked, the X, which barred entry to underage viewers, was soon appropriated by pornographers, who changed it from a warning to a boast. New York Times, "Dystopia, Apocalypse, Culture War: 2018 or 1968?," 17 May 2018 Her image became so synonymous with the brand, Gerber trademarked the drawing of Cook in 1931. Michelle Gant, Fox News, "Original Gerber Baby meets newest Gerber Baby," 6 June 2018

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.

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First Known Use of trademark

Noun

1839, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1881, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

18 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for trademark

The first known use of trademark was in 1839

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More Definitions for trademark

trademark

noun

Financial Definition of 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.

Source: Investing Answers

trademark

noun

English Language Learners Definition of trademark

: 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

noun
trade·​mark | \ ˈtrād-ˌmärk How to pronounce trademark (audio) \

Kids Definition of trademark

: 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

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trademark

noun
trade·​mark | \ ˈtrād-ˌmärk How to pronounce trademark (audio) \

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

trademark

noun
trade·​mark | \ ˈtrād-ˌmärk How to pronounce trademark (audio) \

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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