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What is a trademark?

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) defines a trademark as, “a word, phrase, symbol, and/or design that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods of one party from those of others.”  A trademark is not a copyright or patent.  Shapes, sounds, fragrances and colors may also be registered as trademarks and trademark law has expanded to include trade dress and anti-dilution protection (  A trademark does not need to be registered, but it may be at the state or federal level.

In other words, as trademark is something unique that indicates where a product/service comes from.

In this section, you will find further information about trademarks and their importance. If you have any questions after reviewing this section, please feel free to contact us at

Boise State University

Campus scenes, snow, Allison Corona photo