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Related to trademark: Registered trademark


distinctive mark placed on or attached to goods by a manufacturer or dealer to identify them as made or sold by that particular firm or person. The use of a trademark indicates that the maker or dealer believes that the quality of the goods will enhance his or her standing or goodwill, and a known trademark indicates to a buyer the reputation that is staked on the goods. Registration of a trademark is necessary in some countries to give exclusive right to it. In the United States, Canada, and Great Britain, the sufficient use of a trademark not previously used establishes exclusive right to it, but registration is provided as an aid in defending that right. In the United States trademarks are registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Internationally, trademark registration is facilitated by the World Intellectual Property OrganizationWorld Intellectual Property Organization
(WIPO), specialized agency of the United Nations, with headquarters at Geneva. WIPO became an agency in 1974, but its roots go back to 1883 when the need for international protection of intellectual property prompted the Paris Convention
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, under the Madrid Protocol. Imitations of a trademark wrong both the owner of the trademark and the buyer, who is misled as to the source of goods, and such infringements of a trademark are punishable by law. Service marks, which are used on services (such as insurance or brokerages) rather than on products, are also covered by trademark laws.


See M. Wright, Inventions, Patents, and Trade-marks (2d ed. 1933); P. Meinhardt and K. Havelock, Concise Trade Mark Law and Practice (1983).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a symbol placed on merchandise or packaging material by industrial or trade organizations to provide individualized identification of the merchandise and of its manufacturer or seller. Trademarks may consist of words, combinations of letters or numerals, or family names, or they may be descriptive, in the form of drawings, graphic symbols, or combinations of colors. They may also be three-dimensional, embodied in the shapes of articles or the packaging. A trademark is an object of industrial property. It serves to advertise the merchandise and guarantee its quality. Trademarks are used in both national and international trade.

The procedures for acquiring the rights to trademarks and for their use and protection are defined by national legislation and international agreements. For example, in the USSR the relevant legislation is the resolution of the Council of Ministers of the USSR of May 15, 1962, On Trademarks (approved Jan. 8, 1974, by the State Committee of the Council of Ministers of the USSR on Inventions and Discoveries). The most important international agreements are the 1883 Paris convention on the protection of industrial property and the 1891 Madrid convention on registration of trademarks, both of which have been ratified by the USSR.

In all socialist countries and most capitalist countries (such as the Federal Republic of Germany, France, Japan, Italy, and the Scandinavian countries), the exclusive right to a trademark is acquired through official registration (in the USSR, with the State Committee on Inventions and Discoveries). In some countries, such as Great Britain, the USA, and Switzerland, the right to use a trademark is acquired simply through its actual commercial use.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


the name or other symbol used to identify the goods produced by a particular manufacturer or distributed by a particular dealer and to distinguish them from products associated with competing manufacturers or dealers. A trademark that has been officially registered and is therefore legally protected is known as a Registered Trademark
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
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