What is a trademark?
A trademark is one of the most important thing that a business can have. A trademark is something that when I say, for example, a single word, you’re going to understand exactly what I’m talking about. Coke. What do you think about? You think about a fizzy, tasty, sweet drink that you’re used to having with casual lunches or dinners. It is, however, one word that identifies an entire brand of products issued by Coca-Cola. It could be Pepsi as well. But you typically don’t have someone going in and saying, “I’ll have a Pepsi.” If you ever do, and you go to a restaurant and they said, “We sell only Coke products,” there’s a reason for that. The reason is trademarks.
Another example of a trademark is, if you go to wipe your hands and you want something to use, you may ask for a Kleenex. Kleenex is a trademark as well. What you typically would ask for if you want to be more generic would be something like a tissue. Trademarks are something that you can over time acquire for your business, and you can acquire them at the state level or the federal level. I always recommend that someone who wants to have a trademark start at the federal level. If it’s available there, get the registration done through that mechanism, and the office that you would go through at the federal government is called the United States Patent and Trademark Office, and a lot of these things like, “Is Coke a trademark or is Kleenex a trademark?” can be looked up on that website.