A question on trademarks

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Thik Nongyow, Aug 20, 2002.

  1. Thik Nongyow

    Thik Nongyow Stunt Coordinator

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    What is the difference between a registered trademark (®) and an ordinary trademark (™)?
     
  2. Bill Slack

    Bill Slack Supporting Actor

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    IANAL, but...

    ® is a registered trademark, while (tm) is a common law trademark. There are also (sm) which is a service mark, though lots of things which seemingly should have service marks have trademarks anyway.

    A registered trademark contains additional rights over a common law one and is registered with the USPTO office, hence the name.
     
  3. Yee-Ming

    Yee-Ming Producer

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    what Bill said, more or less. and yes, IAAL...

    just to add, "TM" I believe refers to what the owner asserts to be a trademark. it may be pending registration, i.e. the USPTO is still assessing the application, or it may not be distinctive enough to warrant registration on its merits. the purpose of trademarks is to distinguish the makers' goods, so to warrant registration, a trademark must be distinctive.

    for instance, Denon can't go and register "Home Theater Receiver" as a trademark for its receivers, since it is completely descriptive. but it can, and presumably has, registered "Denon" as a trademark for use on receivers (and no doubt other AV equipment).
     
  4. Thik Nongyow

    Thik Nongyow Stunt Coordinator

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    What about the "Home Theater Forum" or non-profit web sites. Should it have a trademark symbol next to it?
     
  5. Yee-Ming

    Yee-Ming Producer

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    "Home Theater Forum" is, arguably, completely descriptive of the "product" so even if Ron and Parker tried to register it, the application would probably be rejected. I know in the US there are penalties for claiming something is a registered trademark if it isn't (i.e. mis-using the "R" in a circle sign), but doubt there's anything in using or "mis-using" the "TM" sign.

    but what's the point? Ron & Parker don't use the name "Home Theater Forum" in supplying a service for profit, so they arguably do not use the name in a trademark sense anyway, which would be to distinguish their service from someone else's.
     
  6. Thik Nongyow

    Thik Nongyow Stunt Coordinator

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    You mention something "for profit." Are web sites that have sponsors that pay for maintaining them can be classified as "for profit" or not?
     
  7. Clinton McClure

    Clinton McClure Casual Enthusiast
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    I believe the web site is non-profit as they (Ron and Parker) do not receive any money by the members for personal gain, but are instead supported by the sponsors in exchange for promoting the sponsors' products.

    Correct me if I am wrong.
     

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