April 28, 2021•238 words
There's a trademark for that...
tl;dr - because many common words are trademarked, doesn't mean trademarking is useless
"Hey dude, some really basic words are trademarked. Does that means I'll get sued if I use them in this project?"
"Hi mate, good one. It probably seems strange that common words are trademarked, but it makes sense. It also doesn't mean that trademarking is useless.
"Well, common words that are trademarked are usually registered in a very narrow way. When you register a trademark, you need to describe how it is used (it's "class"). Most of these a described narrowly. Eg. the word "Study" is registered, but it's class relates to use of word in the context of "Non-Japanese style outer wear"; the mark "Three" is registered, but in relation to "Chewing gum"; "Project" is registered for use in connection with charitable services
"Also, many common word marks are actually conditional on being used with another mark or in a specific context. Eg - the word "Project" is registered as part of the phrase "Peng You".
"So the registration of the trademark applies only when used with the phrase "Peng You"?"
"Yep. The other thing that happens is that trademarks become 'household' or generic name for a type of product. Check this out: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_generic_and_genericized_trademarks)"
"Interesting. So, you're saying that just because common words are trademarked, doesn't mean they are protected / off-limits for use?"