A trademark, also called a trade mark or trade-mark, is a type of intellectual property that consists of a distinguishable sign, design, or expression that identifies products or services as coming from a particular source and differentiates them from those that come from other sources. Trademarks can also be written as trade mark or trade-mark. It is possible for a person, a corporate organisation, or any other legal body to be the owner of a trademark. On the product itself, on the product's packaging, on the label, or on a voucher, a trademark could be placed. Sometimes trademarks that are used to designate services may be referred to as service marks.
In 1266, during the reign of Henry III, the very first piece of legislation pertaining to trademarks was issued. This act mandated that all bakers place a distinguishing mark on the bread that they sold. The late 19th century saw the emergence of the first contemporary legislation pertaining to trademarks. In the year 1857, France became the country that legalised the first complete trademark system in the whole globe. The Trade Marks Act of 1938 in the United Kingdom brought about a shift in the system by allowing registration to be based on "intent-to-use," establishing a procedure that is based on examination, and establishing a publishing system for application forms. Other ground-breaking ideas, such as "related trademarks," a permission to use the system, a defence mark system, and a non claiming right system, were included in the 1938 Act, which was used as a template for other pieces of legislation enacted in other countries at the time.
To signify a trademark, either the trademark symbol or the registered trademark symbol may be used. However, the registered trademark symbol should only be used by the owner of a trademark that has been officially registered.