PROTECTING THE BRAND: A Concise Guide to Promoting, Maintaining, and Defending a Company's Most Valuable Asset

Talcott J. Franklin, Author . Barricade $19.95 (144p) ISBN 978-1-56980-257-1

This short, practical guide to the rules of trademark law provides clear definitions of important terms, excellent examples of influential court decisions regarding uses and abuses of trademarks and useful tips on how a company can defend and keep a trademark. Franklin, a lawyer, explains the ins and outs of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and the key differences between ®, ©, TM and SM designations. He continually hammers home the most important points of trademark law, "(1) Always use the mark as an adjective; and (2) Do not confuse the mark with the company name." He makes it very clear why, for example, the Xerox Corporation does not need a trademark designation after its name, but why Xerox® brand copiers do need one. He also provides sample contracts and consent-to-use forms as well as examples of how to use trademarks correctly on business letterhead and cards. Unfortunately, the emphasis on utility makes this read more like a legal textbook than an general study of trademarks. From Franklin's examples, such as how the Duncan Company lost the trademark for its yo-yo toy, it is clear that he could write a much more detailed study of the sometimes strange history of trademarks than is provided here. However, he has managed to pack a wide range of detail into his short survey, and a few humorous observations provide a welcome respite from his "just the facts" approach. (Nov.)

Reviewed on: 09/15/2003
Release date: 11/01/2003
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