In addition to copyrights and trade secrets, another type of intellectual property that is important for bloggers and digital content creators is trademarks. Trademarks are governed by both state and federal laws.
A trademark is a brand name. A trademark or service mark includes any word, name, symbol, sound, smell, device, or any combination, used or intended to be used in commerce to identify and distinguish the goods/services of one seller or provider from those of another, and to indicate the source of the goods/services.
For example, the trademarks “Nike,” the Nike “swoosh” sign, and “Just do it” slogan identify the products made by Nike and distinguish them from products made by other competing companies such as Reebok or Adidas. Similarly, the trademark “Coca-Cola” distinguishes the brown-colored soda water of one particular manufacturer from the brown-colored soda of another (e.g. Pepsi). When such marks are used to identify services (e.g. “Jiffy Lube”) rather than products, they are called service marks, although they are generally treated the same as trademarks.
For bloggers and digital content creators, as part of your broad marketing and branding strategy, you may consider trademarking your blog and aspects of your brand to protect any goods and services you provide that use your brand assets. A trademark will protect your brand’s unique identity from use by others in your specific business area and offer means of legal redress for unlawful uses of your brand’s assets.