Trademark (RO.: marcă, marcă înregistrată, marcă comercială, Gr.:  εμπορικό σήμα, Cz.: ochranná známka, Alb.: Markë Tregtare) (See also: patent; copyright; cybersquatting, distinctiveness) = A word, phrase, symbol, design, expression that identifies and distinguishes the goods and services of one party from those of others. Its purpose is to prevent unfair competition, meaning that once it is acquired by someone, it cannot be used by someone else.

There are two broad types of trademarks: 

Conventional/traditional ~ = trademarks represented by numerals, letters, words, logos, symbols, pictures or combinations of them.

Non-conventional/non-traditional ~ = trademarks represented by colours, shapes, motions, holograms, positions, scents, sounds, tastes, textures.

Registered ~ = a trademark that has been registered with a national trademark office; it is usually designated by this symbol: ® (a circled R), as opposed to the unregistered ~, which is designated by this symbol: ™ (small capitalised TM)


Useful links

Legislation - TRIPS (English) - Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property (English) – Singapore Treaty on the Law of Trademarks (English) - Legea 84/1998 privind mărcile și indicațiile geografice (Romanian) – Act No. XI of 1997 on the Protection of Trademarks and Geographical Indications in Hungary (English)

Online articles – Larrimore Ouellette, L., 2013, The Google Shortcut to Trademark Law, California Law Review, Vol. 102, p. 351, Puscariu, N., 2013, The importance of a trademark for a company,, vol. 1 ed. 3 – Block, J.H., Fisch, C., Sandner, P.G., 2013, Trademark families: characteristics and market values, Journal of Brand Management 21, pp. 150-170 - Leaffer, M., 2012-2013, A Twenty-Year Retrospective on United States Trademark Law in Ten Cases, 23 Fordham Intell. Prop. Media & Ent. L.J. 655 - Halpern, M., Mehrotra, A.K., 2000, From International Treaties to Internet Norms: The Evolution of International Trademark Disputes in the Internet Age, 21 U. Pa. J. Int'l Econ. L. 523


Organizations and associations - International Trademark Association - World Intellectual Property Organization - European Communities Trademark Association  - Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market - The US Patent and Trademark Office  - Intellectual Property Office


Ascensao, J.O., Brandmeyer, K., Franzen, O., 2010, International Trademark and Signs Protection, CH Beck Verlag, Munchen, Oxford

Charmasson, H., Buchaca, J., 2008, Patents, Copyrights and Trademarks for dummies, Wiley Publishing, Inc., Indiana

Shi, W., 2008, Intellectual Property in the Global Trading System: EU-China Perspective, Springer Berlin Heidelberg, Berlin

Elias, S., Stim, R., 2013, Trademark: Legal care for your business and product care, Nolo – available at

Cohen J. T., van Nispen, C., Huydecoper, T., 2010, European Trademark Law, Kluwer Law International – available at

Dinwoodie, G., Janis, M., 2008, Trademark law and theory, Edward Elgar Publishing - available at

Practical use (Romanian)


By Ioana Stupariu