1.5 UNDERSTANDING TRADEMARKS
What is a Trademark?
A trademark is a recognizable symbol, sign, expression, design or the like which is used to identify and differentiate one product or service emanating from a particular source against one emanating from another source. The association of a trademark with an entity may take many forms, and could be visible on packaging, labels, advertisements, all company merchandise, etc.
Legal Aspects of Trademarks
The holder of a trademark has the benefit of rights associated with trademarks and these rights can be enforced when an action for trademark infringement is brought. It must be noted that for this, the trademark has to be registered. In cases of unregistered trademarks, remedy may have to be sort elsewhere. In this case, it could be under the common law wrong of “passing off”. The rationale of trademark law is also one of consumer protection, since it prevents the public from being misled about the origin or quality of a product or service. Now think about the illustration that we discussed at the beginning of this section. Do you identify the brands with specific entities on the basis of their trademarks? Conduct this exercise for a further 20 brands and discuss your findings.