common-law trademark

25 October, 2018

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A mark used in connection with a business’s goods or services, but not registered with the Trademark Office. Rights are limited to the geographic area where the mark is used. If someone violates the mark, the owner may have some protection under federal or state law, but the burden is likely to be on them to prove their rights. Common-law marks are often used with the TM or SM symbol to indicate that the word or logo is being used as a trademark.

Synonyms:
unregistered trademark
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