A trademark agreement is a legal arrangement between two parties to use material that has been deemed both intellectual and protected. This type of agreement is generally made between the owner of a trademark and a company who wishes to use the material in question for a specified purpose or length of time. Individuals who use intellectual property that has been registered with a local government office without the express permission of the owner are in danger of having committed trademark infringement.
Trademarks are one of three types of legal protection for intellectual property. This type of property must typically be registered with a local government's trademark office for a fee. Patents and copyrights are the other two forms of protection offered. The type of protection necessary for an individual's intellectual property is determined by the nature of the property itself.
A trademark protects names, logos, colors, and sounds that distinguish one company from another. These items also help identify the source of the materials being purchased. Companies often generate multiple manufacturing and distribution lines for their different products and give each one a different name and logo which are then trademarked.
When a business wishes to display or use trademarked material, it must first obtain permission from the owner through a trademark agreement. These agreements typically take the form of a legal, written document which both parties must sign. Usage of the trademark is generally limited by the terms of the agreement, and may expire upon a given future date.
A trademark agreement may be prepared by legal council or directly by the parties involved in the deal. Sample agreements can be found online to guide individuals inexperienced with writing this type of legal documentation. Software programs are also available for purchase that take provided information and automatically draft it into a trademark agreement. These types of programs are often beneficial for business owners who may require multiple agreements during their regular course of business.
An important component of trademark agreements is the provision known as quality control. This is a list of standards, provided by the owner of the trademark, that must be met by those who wish to use the protected material. These standards guarantee that the quality of the items which bear the trademark will uphold the good name established by the product's creator.
Trademarks can generate good reputation, and quality control ensures that the reputation is protected. For example, a carpenter may create a line of furniture by hand and stamp it with his personal brand, which he then trademarks. If his design becomes popular, he may allow it to be copied by a furniture warehouse which would also use his protected brand. That carpenter can use quality control in his agreement to create guidelines the manufacturer must follow. This protects the carpenter's reputation so that poorly made furniture is not sold and distributed bearing his symbol.
Trademark agreements can also include further limitations that address different aspects of negotiation. They can provide royalties to the owner during the material's usage. They can also limit the areas in which the trademark may be used, as well as how many other companies can have access to it at one time. Each agreement can be tailored to directly suit the needs to all parties involved.