A trademark is any word, name, symbol, device, or any combination thereof used to distinguish goods in the marketplace. A trademark functions to identify the source or origin of a product or service, and it allows producers to distinguish their product or service from those of others. For example, Coca-Cola is a well-known trademark that identifies its cola as distinct from all other soft drinks. So is Pepsi, with its red, white, and blue Pepsi “globe.”

Businesses use trademarks as a type of marketing tool to communicate the quality of their goods. A trademark thus simplifies the decision-making process; through trademarks, consumers select products that they have come to know and trust while avoiding those of inferior quality. Modern trademarks have grown beyond this, however. No ...

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