开办小企业时，有很多考虑事项。可以说，最重要的决定之一就是如何展示您的品牌。这就是您的公司将被公众认可的方式。您的品牌名称（请勿与条款混淆“brand” or “branding” which we will explore in a later post) and trademarks are assets to your business. Often times 牌 names or trademarks become interchangeable with the product – for example Kleenex (the 牌) is often used to represent a facial tissue (of any 牌). Although these two terms are used interchangeably, they are not synonymous. Therefore, it is important to protect your 牌’s 知识产权 to avoid the 牌 versus trademark confusion.
A 牌 name is the name that identifies your specific company or product. Brand names are often how a company becomes recognizable to consumers – and are valuable good will asset to a business. In some cases, a 牌 name becomes part of everyday vocabulary to mean the generic product. For example, Q-tip has become synonymous with cotton swab, or Band-Aid is universally known to mean bandage.
The goal of a 牌 name is to create a recognizable name and logo for your company or product. When you own a recognizable 牌 name, consumers will want to purchase your product or utilize your services instead of generic. Your 牌 name will have a perceived value that only YOU can provide. A 牌 name does not provide any legal protection, however, or allow your company unlimited rights to use the 牌 name or logo. That is where a trademark comes in.
商标是向商标注册的商标或商标名称。 美国专利商标局。 A trademark can include an identifying name, logo, slogan, sounds, or colors that uniquely identify your company or its products or services. A trademark’s purpose is to provide legal protection. When a company registers a trademark with the USPTO, the company will be able to initiate legal action against others who use the 牌 name without permission.
So why is it important for you to know the difference between 牌 names and trademarks? Well, if a business is using a 牌 name without legal protection (i.e. a registered trademark), it is holding out to the public that this is the name and/or logo that will be associated with the company and its products. This may actually infringe on an existing mark that is in fact a registered trademark. Before registering a trademark to protect your business’ 牌, it is important to do due diligence to ensure that you are not infringing on someone else’的注册商标。
浏览商标研究和注册过程可能很复杂。咨询知识产权很重要 律师 to assist you with every step of the process for protection of your 牌.