A trademark (also written trade mark or trade-mark[1]) is a type of intellectual property consisting of a recognizable sign, design, or expression which identifies products or services of a particular source from those of others,[2][3] although trademarks used to identify services are usually called service marks.[4][5] The trademark owner can be an individual, business organization, or any legal entity. A trademark may be located on a package, a label, a voucher, or on the product itself. For the sake of corporate identity, trademarks are often displayed on company buildings. It is legally recognized as a type of intellectual property.

The first legislative act concerning trademarks was passed in 1266 under the reign of Henry III, requiring all bakers to use a distinctive mark for the bread they sold.[citation needed] The first modern trademark laws emerged in the late 19th century. In France the first comprehensive trademark system in the world was passed into law in 1857. The Trade Marks Act 1938 of the United Kingdom changed the system, permitting registration based on "intent-to-use”, creating an examination based process, and creating an application publication system. The 1938 Act, which served as a model for similar legislation elsewhere, contained other novel concepts such as "associated trademarks", a consent to use system, a defensive mark system, and non claiming right system.

The symbols ™ (the trademark symbol) and ® (the registered trademark symbol) can be used to indicate trademarks; the latter is only for use by the owner of a trademark that has been registered.


A trademark identifies the brand owner of a particular product or service. Trademarks can be used by others under licensing agreements; for example, Bullyland obtained a license to produce Smurf figurines; the Lego Group purchased a license from Lucasfilm in order to be allowed to launch Lego Star Wars; TT Toys Toys is a manufacturer of licensed ride-on replica cars for children.[6] The unauthorized usage of trademarks by producing and trading counterfeit consumer goods is known as brand piracy.

The owner of a trademark may pursue legal action against trademark infringement. Most countries require formal registration of a trademark as a precondition for pursuing this type of action. The United States, Canada and other countries also recognize common law trademark rights, which means action can be taken to protect an unregistered trademark if it is in use. Still, common law trademarks offer the holder, in general, less legal protection than registered trademarks.

Other Languages
العربية: علامة تجارية
azərbaycanca: Əmtəə nişanı
Bân-lâm-gú: Siong-phiau
беларуская: Таварны знак
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Таварны знак
български: Търговска марка
dansk: Varemærke
Deutsch: Marke (Recht)
eesti: Kaubamärk
Ελληνικά: Εμπορικό σήμα
Esperanto: Registrita marko
Frysk: Merknammen
Gaeilge: Trádmharc
한국어: 상표
հայերեն: Ապրանքանիշ
hrvatski: Žig
Bahasa Indonesia: Merek dagang
íslenska: Vörumerki
עברית: סימן מסחר
lietuvių: Prekės ženklas
magyar: Védjegy
Bahasa Melayu: Tanda dagangan
Nederlands: Merk
日本語: 商標
norsk: Varemerke
norsk nynorsk: Varemerke
português: Marca registrada
Scots: Tred merk
සිංහල: වෙළඳ ලකුණ
Simple English: Trademark
slovenčina: Ochranná známka
slovenščina: Blagovna znamka
српски / srpski: Жиг
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Registrirani zaštitni znak
svenska: Varumärke
Türkçe: Alametifarika
ئۇيغۇرچە / Uyghurche: تاۋار ماركىسى
Tiếng Việt: Thương hiệu
粵語: 嘜頭
中文: 商标