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The Basics of Trademarks

What is a trademark?

A trademark is a unique indicator used to identify that a product or service originates from a specific source.

What are some examples of trademarks?
       This can be displayed in an array of trademark types as shown below with an example of a Boise State trademark example in that specific category. Please note that these are not the only University trademarks.

    • Word (Boise State)
    • Phrase (Go Broncos)
    • Symbol (University B Logo)
    • Design (Buster Bronco)
    • Sound (Fight Song)
    • Smell
    • Color (Blue and Orange)
    • Group of letters or numbers (BSU)
    • Can also be displayed as a combination of the above

       The University’s registered trademarks include “BOISE STATE UNIVERSITY”, “BOISE STATE”, “BOISE STATE BRONCOS”, “BRONCO NATION”, “BLUE TURF”, “BEYOND THE BLUE”, “THE BLUE”, the University diamond logo, the B logo, the variations of the Bronco, Boise State and Boise State Broncos logos and a federal registration for the color blue as applied to turf. All other names, including “BRONCO” and “BRONCOS”, symbols, initials, colors, images, graphic designs or other indicia that refer to the University are protected by United State federal and state law. The Trademarks are updated continually. A current listing of registered Trademarks is available from the Director of Trademark Licensing and Enforcement.

How are these trademarks protected?
       
The University names, initials, logos, symbols, indicia, insignia, trade names, service marks, and trademarks (collectively “Trademarks”), are trademarks protected by federal law either by federal trademark registrations or through common law use.

       A design that could create confusion due to similarity to University’s Trademarks may be an infringement on the University’s trademark rights. The University has delegated the responsibility for maintaining, managing, licensing and protecting the University Trademarks to the Director of Trademark Licensing and Enforcement under the direction of the University General Counsel.

Do trademarks, copyrights and patents protect the same things?
       No. Trademarks, copyrights and patents are all different.

    • A copyright protects an original artistic or literary work
    • A patent protects an invention. (For further information, please see the University’s Intellectual Property Policy).
    • A trademark may also, in some instances, be protected by copyright and trademark law.