A trademark may be practically any word, phrase, symbol, design, logo, or other unique indicator of origin that is used in association with the sale of goods.

Trademark Example

James A. Rhodes State College
The seal that Rhodes State College uses on the diplomas it issues to its students is registered with the U.S. Trademark Office. REGISTERED TRADEMARK 3,223,832

Trademark Fact

A logo or design that is used in association with goods or services can be registered with the U.S. Trademark Office.

Prior to formal registration with the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO), a trademark should be identified in at least the first instance of its use in every article of literature where it is used, by placing the superscript or subscript "TM" after the trademark.

A service mark has the same legal significance as a trademark except that a service mark is used in association with the sale of services. Prior to formal registration with the USPTO, a service mark should be identified in at least the first instance of its use in every article of literature where it is used, by placing the superscript or subscript "SM" after the service mark.

A registered mark is a mark that has been filed with the USPTO and which has received an official certificate of registration. All registered marks should have the symbol ® adjacent to the mark whenever it is used in any setting, at least in the first instance of use in that setting.