A CDE Definition
A trademark is a brand identification for a product or service, the latter technically called a "service mark." The mark can be written text, text in a particular stylized form or a graphic symbol. Company names and products are often registered with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Organization (USPTO) to help ensure their legal usage. For more information, visit www.uspto.gov.
We Are Not a Source of Trademark Registrations
The purpose of this encyclopedia is to provide a meaningful definition of computer science, telecommunications, semiconductor and electronics terms and related products, but it is not meant to be a source of trademark registration information. When we know of an origin of a term, we state it. There are thousands of terms in this database that do not include a lineage, because we either did not know of it at the time of writing or felt it was not pertinent.
We Believe Everything Is a Trademark
We believe that every name of a product is a trademark of its respective organization. If a company creates a name for its product and continues to use it, it is a de facto trademark whether or not it is registered. Among other legal reasons, registration serves to officially document how long a name has been in use.
Contact the Company
If a particular technology in this database is attributed to an organization, we do not know if it is a de facto or de jure trademark of that organization. To find out trademark information about a product in this publication, please contact the legal counsel of the organization that is mentioned as its creator. See copyright.
The legal ownership of a "work," which can take any of the following forms: written text, program source code, graphics images, sculpture, music, sound recording, motion picture, pantomime, choreograph and architecture. Before January 1, 1978, a work had to be published to be copyrighted. After that date, any work expressed in paper or electronic form is automatically copyrighted for the life of the author plus 70 years. Registration with the Copyright Office is not required, although it is beneficial if there are disputes later on. In the U.S., a copyright symbol is not mandatory, but recommended.
For works by an anonymous author or an author who uses a fictitious name (pseudonymous) as well as works "made for hire," such as a publication written by an employee of a company, the copyright lasts 120 years from date of creation or 95 years from date of publication, whichever is shorter. For more information, visit www.copyright.gov. See plagiarism, fair use doctrine, Creative Commons, copyleft, trademarks, DRM and image protection.
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Terms By Topic
Click any of the following categories for a list of fundamental terms.