A trademark is a brand name. A trademark or service mark includes any word, name, symbol, device, or any combination, used or intended to be used to identify and distinguish the goods/services of one seller or provider from those of others and indicate the source of the goods/services. For example, when we see the word "Coke" on a beverage, we know the company (the source) supplying the product, and we have a good idea of the quality of the product. Such is possible because we only allow one company to use the word "Coke" for beverages.

A company's trademarks, therefore, are the most important aspects of its brand. Simmons Patents works closely with clients to identify and protect their brands' integrity to ensure they distinguish themselves from their competitors.

We help clients develop intellectual property strategies and programs, identify and perfect intellectual property rights, and assert or defend such rights in court when necessary.

The following can be a trademark:

  1. Work Markany word or group of words that serve to identify the source of a product or service;

  2. SlogansSlogans are simply compound word marks.  “Sears, Where America Shops”. 

  3. Designs and Logos: Designs can be geometric, color patterns, images, or shapes; 

  4. Color: Multiple colors have long been recognized as capable of functioning as a trademark.  Note are single-color marks are rare but possible (Owens-Corning and Pink);

  5. Packaging and Décor: When packaging functions to identify the source of a good or service, it is generally called trade dress and may be the subject of protection in the same manner as any trademark.  Stormy Clime Ltd. V Progroup, Inc. 809 F.2d 971 (2d Cir. 1987); 

  6. Product Configuration:   Can constitute trade dress if it has acquired secondary meaning (Walmart v Samara Brothers);

  7. Sounds: Sounds can be trademarked: Yahoo “yodeling”, NBC “chimes”, Harley Davidson motor sound;

  8. Characters: Fictional characters (such as cartoon characters) are often used as trademarks; (Tony the tiger.)

  9. Personae: The persona of a real person can function as a trademark. 

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