Patents, Copyrights and Trademarks For Dummies
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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

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book authors:

Henri Charmasson is an attorney with a 35-year career in the field of intellectual property (IP) law. He has been a naming adviser to major corporations. Henri is also an inventor with his name on 15 U.S. patents and an entrepreneur who sits on the board of several small business corporations. In his early engineering career, Henri designed computer hardware. Henri has authored several articles and delivered lectures on patent, copyright, trademark and trade secret topics, and written an authoritative treatise about the art of naming companies and branding new products. Born, raised, and educated in sunny Provence, France, he’s found in California the ideal place to exert his enterprising spirit.

John Buchaca, also an Intellectual Property law attorney, is a former software engineer and occasional inventor, and has worked with Henri for more than 15 years. Indeed, when Henri wrote the first edition of this book, John regarded himself as the “first dummy.” Before becoming a lawyer, he worked in ocean acoustics analysis and modeling and computer programming. His undergraduate degree is in applied mathematics. But his highest claim to fame (according to Henri) is to be married to Henri’s daughter and to be the father of two of Henri’s grandchildren. He lives in San Diego, California where he is a partner at Charmasson, Buchaca & Leach, LLP, an IP law firm.

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