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How to Identify Your Commercial Identifiers

Part of the Patents, Copyrights & Trademarks For Dummies Cheat Sheet

If you’re developing work or product that you want to get a patent on, register as the copyright holder of, or trademark, you need to be able to distinguish the fruit of your labors from the work of other people. The three types of commercial identifiers that distinguish your product, service, or company from others are:

  • Product identifiers, commonly known as brands, or trademarks, which distinguish your product from others.

  • Service identifiers, comprised of service marks, certification marks, and membership or association marks.

  • Company identifiers, called trade names, which are typically business names and logos.

A good commercial identifier has the following characteristics:

  • Unique (do a search first)

  • Distinctive rather than generic

  • Recognizable

  • Memorable

  • Pleasant associations

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