Symbols are registrable as trademarks but that does not mean you can register it. It still has to pass the same sort of tests as any other mark so you should discuss this with a trademark attorney. It is likely you can find one who offers a free or low cost initial consultation so you can discuss without incurring too much cost.
Symbols, including words in other languages, can be registered as trademarks (copyright doesn't apply to what you're describing). You'll have to go through the usual registration process, including providing a translation of the symbol. Don't try to do it yourself.
Hire a trademark attorney to clear the rights to use the mark for the goods or services you will use it with.
Anything I post on Avvo, a public forum, is intended as general information based on the facts provided, and is not legal advice or a legal opinion. My posts do not create any attorney-client relationship, and any contact with you beyond these posts will start with disclosure of opposing parties to allow me to check for conflicts. You should not rely solely on these posts to take or not take any particular action. You should speak with a competent attorney before taking further action.
As the others have mentioned, the Chinese symbol can function as a trademark. You will need to speak to a trademark attorney to ensure your use (or intended use) qualifies as a trademark, and have them perform a clearance search to ensure no others have superior rights.
Nothing posted on this forum is intended to be construed as legal advice, and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.
Yes Chinese symbols can be used as a logo and registered as a trademark/service mark. However, you or your company must be using the symbol in conjunction with the sale off goods or in conjunction with the marketing of a service, or have an intent to do so. As long as someone else is not using the same or similar logo in conjunction with the same or similar goods or services. I suggest that you retain an experienced trademark attorney who can counsel you on the use and registration of your logo.
Mr. Sack's postings on Avvo are of a general nature, based on the facts provided and are not intended to be taken as legal advice or to establish an attorney-client relationship.
As noted, you can use the symbol of course but we have the ",aw of foreign equivalency" to consider as well. This means that any mark applied for in another language will be translated into the English equivalent and vetted. So it is very possible that your Chinese symbol for say "courage" will be in conflict with a mark holder that uses the English word or Latin word or the symbol in the Hebrew language, etc. Now if the symbol was in say some ancient indo-chino language where there were no average speakers or if there were just no English translation for it then this would not be a problem.
So, yes, it is quite possible that you can use it, but you will still need to clear it like all responsible business do.
Your trademark will be one of if not the most important and valuable business assets you will have and you will ultimately spend more money in support if it than you will anywhere else (advertising, marketing, PR, branding, packaging, etc.). So you owe it to your business and yourself to make sure you handle this properly upfront and the first order of business always starts with a proper and comprehensive clearance.
Whenever you endeavor into investing in a trademark it is very important that you conduct the proper clearance due diligence upfront and before you start spending any money in support of it or submit an application to the USPTO. In the US, this means searching under both federal (USPTO) as well as common law because trademark rights stem from use in this country NOT registration. This means that acquiring a federal registration does not necessarily mean that you are not infringing on another's intellectual property. See the link below for a brief article from Fox Business News on the importance of the due diligence process and our overview guide.
I suggest that you consult with a lawyer in private and discuss your objectives in more detail. You can start by calling around to several for a free phone consultation, get some insights then pick the best fit to work with.
DISCLAIMER: this is not intended to be specific legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. No attorney-client relationship is formed with the law firm of Natoli-Lapin, LLC on the basis of this posting.
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