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I need some enlightenment on this topic. Let's take Treehouse to set the scene. Treehouse is owned by Treehouse Island, Inc. Is it easier to trademark Treehouse Island than Treehouse? Does Treehouse Island need to trademark their current and future services/products like Treehouse and Treehouse Shop separately?

Another example is Google. Does Google have to trademark Google Drive, Google Glass, or anything with name Google or not necessarily as long as the name Google is included on the product/service brand name?

2 Answers

Pasan Premaratne
Pasan Premaratne
Treehouse Teacher

Hey Paul,

I'm not a trademark law expert but here's my take on it. A trademark is used to identify the source or origin of the product and it's not necessarily easier to trademark one thing over the other. Say Treehouse is trademarked, then Treehouse Shop falls under usage of the Treehouse trademark. You could possibly trademark Treehouse Shop, but shop is not a specific product name that could be identified as belonging to Treehouse if used without the Treehouse name. It isn't a sub brand per se. I doubt it falls under the minimum requirements needed to file a trademark.

On the other hand a lot of Google's products can be identified when used without the word 'Google' attached. Gmail, AdWords, AdSense and so on. They are sub brands that are make senese to be trademarked. Google maintains a list of all their trademarks.

It is also pretty expensive to file and maintain all those trademarks so it's usually bigger companies that do trademark sub brands and such.

Does that make sense?

Thanks a lot maestro. One more thing, can symbols TM and R be used interchangeably?