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 mark that causes a risk of confusion, for 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, or a combination of any of these, a sound or a three-dimensional mark. In the last example, the shape of a product or of its packaging functions as a trademark. A trademark may also be for instance a multimedia mark or a position mark.

Examples of trademarks

A word mark may consist 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)

A figurative mark with a word: 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: the mark only consists of drawings, graphics or a picture. The mark does not contain words or letters.

Three-dimensional mark: the mark consists of for example the appearance of the product or of its packaging

Multimedia mark: the mark consists of the combination of image and sound

Sound mark: the mark consists of a sound or a combination of sounds

Position mark: the mark consists of the specific way in which the mark is placed or affixed on the product

Esimerkki sijaintimerkistä

Esimerkki sijaintimerkistä

Esimerkki sijaintimerkistä

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 17.06.2019