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last revised Nov. 27, 2001

definitionspurpose scope acquisitionlifetime of protection legal standards

Scope of Trademark Protection

  • Scope of protection:
    • Protects words, names, symbols, devices, sounds, smells, trade dress also referred to as the product shape
    • Protects infringing marks from creating a likelihood of confusion as to the source or sponsorship of a product or service
    • For famous marks, trademarks protect against dilution
  • Principal advantage of registration:
    • Nationwide priority rights
    • Possibly conclusive evidence of validity and ownership of the trademark
    • US custom recordation which allows customs agents to inspect and seize counterfeit goods
    • Increased anti-counterfeiting remedies
  • Notice requirements:
    • "TM" or "SM" if it is an unregistered mark
    • ® when it is registered
McCarthy on Trademarks §6:6A

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