We see a lot of logos and symbols just about everywhere we go, regardless if it is in a local area or in a foreign country. These logos and symbols could be of a well-known brand of product placed on billboards, supermarkets, convenient stores, or even on walls by the sidewalk. They are pretty much everywhere. You may also see application letter samples.
These logos and symbols are some examples of trademarks. A trademark is one of the four types of intellectual property. The other three types are copyright, patent, and trade secrets. Having a particular product or brand trademarked is not something done for free. Before an entity can display their trademark, they need to apply for a license to be able to do so. And, that is what we are going to find out. You may also see printable application templates.
What is a Trademark?
A trademark is usually a sign, logo, symbol, words, or letters that identify a product from all the other products that may look the same. For services, instead of a trademark, they have service marks. Trademarks can either be owned by an individual or a business. They can be any business organization or any entity that operates through legal ways. Trademarks are just about everywhere. We can see one on product packaging, product labels, coupons, vouchers, and they are even displayed on buildings for the sake of company identification. Below are some examples of well-known trademarks in the business industry:
- McDonald’s golden arch
- Just Do it tagline
- Starbucks Coffee logo
- Burberry’s checkered pattern
- Apple logo
To know more about trademarks, you can check out the article about a guide for registering a trademark in the USA.
What is a Trademark License and When is it Needed?
A trademark license is an agreement between the trademark owner and another party regarding the use of a trademark in connection with some products and services. The owner of the trademark is called the licensor and other party trying to get permission to use the trademark is called the licensee. In order for the transaction to be done legally, both the licensor and the licensee must agree to the terms and conditions stated in the trademark license agreement. Although an agreement contract does not necessarily have to be in writing to be enforceable by the law, it is highly recommended that it should be in writing and signed by both the licensor and the licensee. It is because of the number of terms and conditions involved in this agreement that makes it important to be in writing.
A trademark license is needed when one wishes to use the logo or brand of a particular product to promote their own products. An example of trademark licensing is when a certain basketball team allows clothing manufacturers or footwear manufacturers to use their team name or insignia on their products.
How to Apply for a License to Display a Trademark
Before you can use a trademark on your own product or brand, it is essential that get permission to be able to do so. This permission is called a trademark license, which we have discussed above. In order for a trademark license to be legally acquired, a trademark license agreement needs to be in place. Below are basic facts that you need to know about on how you can apply for a license to display a trademark.
- Look for the website of the trademark you wish to use on your product. From there, check on any available options or any information about the possibility of getting permission to use their trademark.
- Check if the mark is still registered to ensure that the mark is still owned by that entity.
- Download their application form. Most trademark holders or owners provide an application form on their website to be used by those who wish to get permission to use their logo or name.
- Fill the required fields in the application form. It would usually include your name, address, contact information, goods and services, basis or reason for application, your signature, and many more.
- Once you are done with the application form, double-check the details you have entered before submitting it.
- You will probably receive a confirmation that your application has been received. Wait for the email from the trademark owner about your application.
- They will schedule you for an appointment where you will discuss the terms and conditions for the use of a trademark.
- Once you have come to an agreement with the trademark owner, a trademark license agreement is then produced. In order for the agreement to be sealed, it needs to be signed by both the licensor and the licensee. It will then follow the process to have the transaction legalized.
- After all the legalities are done, you will get a notification giving you permission to use the license for your products.
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