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TRADEMARK / SERVICE MARKS /

TRADE NAMES

        Trademarks, Service Marks, and Trade Names are separate and distinct, however, they are interconnected.  A trade name is a name used to identify organizations and their products and services.  A trademark or service mark is a trade name that relates to any word, name symbol or device which is used in trade with goods or services to indicate the source or origin of goods or services and to distinguish them from the goods or services of others.  Examples of trademarks would be such well know products as “Jello” or “Kleenex”.

        Trademark rights may be used to prevent others from using a confusing similar mark but not to prevent others from making the same goods or from selling them under a non-confusing mark.  Similar rights may be acquired in marks used in the sale or advertising of services (service marks).

        Trademarks and service marks, which are used in interstate or foreign commerce, may be registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.  If the trademark/service mark is to be used only in Arizona, the Arizona Secretary of State has jurisdiction for registering Arizona specific trademarks/service marks.  Although trademarks/service marks registered with the state and/or federal government enjoy the highest degree of protection, even unregistered or “common law” trademarks/service marks may be somewhat protected, however it is not a sound business practice to rely upon “common law” trademarks/service marks.

        The procedure for registering a trademark/service mark begins with a thorough and comprehensive search of a multitude of sources to determine the distinctness of a particular trademark/service mark.  Anything less than a comprehensive search will potentially result in insufficient legal trademark/service mark protection.  If the search results in no substantially similar or “confusing” other trademarks/service marks, the next step in obtaining a  trademark/service mark is to file an application with the State and Federal repositories noted above.

      The information required to obtain a trademark/service mark is available for businesses and individuals, however seeking professional legal advice is strongly advised.  An attorney’s expertise in this area will usually result in savings that far outweigh the legal fee.

United States Patent and Trademark Office

Arizona Secretary of State

Arizona Statutes - Title 44 - Trade and Commerce


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The Law Office of DAVID W. REICHEL          

            86 W. University Drive, Suite 101C                     

           Mesa, AZ  85201-5855                     

        480-733-0335                 

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