third degree instruction
See dynamite charge.
See Truth in Lending Act.
Evidence of ownership of real estate.
title company
A company that issues title insurance.
title insurance
Insurance issued by a title company that protects a property owner against loss if it is later discovered that title is imperfect.
An injury to one person for which the person who caused the injury is legally responsible. A tort can be intentional -- for example, an angry punch in the nose -- but is far more likely to result from carelessness (called "negligence"), such as riding your bicycle on the sidewalk and colliding with a pedestrian. While the injury that forms the basis of a tort is usually physical, this is not a requirement -- libel, slander and the "intentional infliction of mental distress" are on a good-sized list of torts not based on a physical injury.
tortious interference
The causing of harm by disrupting something that belongs to someone else -- for example, interfering with a contractual relationship so that one party fails to deliver goods on time.
Totten trust
Another term for a payable-on-death bank account.
toxic tort
A personal injury caused by exposure to a toxic substance, such as asbestos or hazardous waste. Victims can sue for medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering.
trade dress
The distinctive packaging or design of a product that promotes the product and distinguishes it from other products in the marketplace -- for example, the shape of Frangelico liqueur bottles. Trade dress can be protected under trademark law if a showing can be made that the average consumer would likely be confused as to product origin if another product were allowed to appear in similar dress.
trade name
The official name of a business, the one it uses on its letterhead and bank account when not dealing with consumers.
trade secret
In most states, a formula, pattern, physical device, idea, process, compilation of information or other information that 1) provides a business with a competitive advantage, and 2) is treated in a way that can reasonably be expected to prevent the public or competitors from learning about it, absent improper acquisition or theft.
A word, phrase, logo, symbol, color, sound or smell used by a business to identify a product and distinguish it from those of its competitors. If the business uses the name or logo to identify a service, such as photo copying, it is called a service mark. In practice, the legal protections for trademarks and service marks are identical.
trademark ownership
In the United States, trademark ownership arising from "first use" of a mark. First use can be established by actual use or by application with the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) for registration on an intent to use basis. If the same mark has been in use by different businesses in different parts of the country without causing customer confusion, the mark may be owned by both businesses in their respective regions. If the mark owners then come into conflict in another part of the country, ownership for the purpose of that region will be determined according to who was the first user and which business could most likely consider the region as a natural zone of expansion.
trademark registration
Federal registration of a mark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) requires that the mark be used in commerce and the filing of a registration application. Once a mark is registered, the owner should always place the trademark registration symbol (®) or "Reg. U.S. Pat. Off." next to the mark. Without this designation, it may be hard to collect damages from one who infringes the mark.