Glossary of competition terms

This Glossary was prepared by DG COMP and the OECD for non-competition specialists. Each term is enriched with references of national case laws from the e-Competitions Bulletin. (© European Union - © OECD)

Trade Mark

Trade mark refers to words, symbols or other marks which are used by firms to distinguish their products or services from those offered by others. A trade mark may be registered under the Patent Act or the Trademark Act or other such intellectual property legislation as may be applicable. A trade mark may often become equated with the product itself and may be a source of competitive advantage. For example, "kleenex" as a trade mark name is used to refer to "tissue "handkerchiefs"; "Xerox" in place of "photocopying"; "Coke" instead of a "cola drink". Trade marks may communicate information about the quality of a good or service to consumers. Firms which license their trade marks to retailers may thus require conditions in the licensing contract assuring uniform quality.

See also Intellectual Property Rights, Licensing.