A trademark includes any word, name, symbol, or device, or any combination used, or intended to be used, in commerce to identify and distinguish the goods of one manufacturer or seller from goods manufactured or sold by others, and to indicate the source of the goods. In short, a trademark is a brand name. A service mark is any word, name, symbol, device, or any combination, used, or intended to be used, in commerce, to identify and distinguish the services of one provider from the services provided by others, and to indicate the source of the services. The goal of trademark law is to exclusively identify the source or origin of goods, services or products. The trade mark indicates a specific source and can serve as a badge of origin, aiding in the identification of a particular business as the source of goods or services. The standard for which a trademark may be infringing is whether it is said to cause a likelihood of confusion in the marketplace. Do I have to register my trademark? No, but federal registration has several advantages, including notice to the public of the claim of ownership of the mark, a legal presumption of ownership nationwide, and the exclusive right to use the mark on or in connection with the goods or services set forth in the registration. If a trademark is not federally registered, a business owner using a trade name locally may have a common law trademark may also file suit against a second comer using the mark but it may be protectable only within the geographical area within which it has been used or expected to reach. Federal trademark registration has several benefits: (i)Constructive notice nationwide of the claim of a trademark claim. (ii) Evidence of ownership of the trademark. Jurisdiction of federal courts may be invoked. (iii) Registration can be used as a basis for obtaining registration in foreign countries. (iv) Registration may be filed with U.S. Customs Service to prevent importation of infringing foreign goods. Some information in this article has been provided by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office at http://www.uspto.gov where you may search for trademarks and register your own.