What is a trademark?

A trademark is a sign that distinguishes the goods and services produced by a company from similar goods and services of other companies. A trademark functions thus as a distinctive symbol on the market. Trademarks are intended to be used in business, but they can as well be applied for or owned by private persons.

A trademark gives exclusive right

A trademark gives the owner the right to prohibit others from using the same mark or a confusingly similar mark for selling and marketing goods or services that are similar to the owner's goods or services.

There are many sorts of trademarks

A trademark may be, for example,

  • a word or a set of words
  • a figurative element
  • a slogan
  • a sound or
  • a combination of any of these.

The shape of a product or of its packaging can also function as a trademark.

Examples of trademarks

  • A word mark consisting of words, letters, numbers or any other symbols used in word processing

The alphabet

  • A figurative mark with a word (the word written in a particular font) (“esimerkki" is “example" in Finnish)

  • Words or letters in combination with shapes, drawings or graphics; a figurative mark with a word

  • A word and a figurative element in colour

  • A figurative mark which only consists of drawings, graphics or a picture. The mark does not contain words or letters.

  • The appearance of a product or of its packaging

What is the difference between trademarks and company names?

A company name is intended to distinguish a particular company from other companies, whereas a trademark is intended to distinguish the products of that particular company from competitors’ similar products on the market. A trademark is therefore an important distinctive symbol in marketing.

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Latest update 30.12.2016