A trademark is a word, phrase, symbol or design, or a combination thereof, that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods of one party from those of another. A service mark is the same as a trademark except that it identifies and distinguishes the source of a service rather than a product.
Trademarks, copyrights and patents differ. A copyright protects an original artistic or literary work while a patent protects inventions or discoveries.
A trade name is also different from a trademark or service mark. A trade name is used to identify a company or business and serves as the name of the company or business, whereas a trademark or service mark is used to identify the source of the products or services that the company or business sells or provides. However, a trade name can also function as a trademark or service mark depending on the context in which it is used. If a trade name is used as more than just the company name and informs consumers where a product or service is coming from, it is being used as a trademark or service mark. For example, if the name is used as a noun (“Get your tires from Goodyear”), it is a trade name. If the name is used as an adjective (“Get Goodyear tires from authorized dealers throughout your region”), it is a trademark.