A legally registered symbol, word, phrase, or design that distinguishes a company's goods or services, protecting the brand identity in the marketplace.

A trademark is a type of intellectual property consisting of a recognizable sign, design, or expression that uniquely identifies products or services produced by a specific person or company. It allows consumers to easily distinguish a brand in the marketplace from goods or services offered by others.

To obtain trademark protection, the owner must register their proposed mark with the appropriate government authorities after it undergoes an examination to ensure it meets legal requirements like distinctiveness and avoiding likelihood of confusion with existing marks. Registration provides legal presumption of ownership nationwide and exclusive rights to use the trademark with the registered products or services.

Registered trademarks prevent competitors from using confusingly similar marks that could mislead customers about the true source or sponsorship of goods. However, trademark rights can be lost through genericide if the mark becomes the generic name for the product itself. Well-known examples of protected trademarks include brand names like Coca-Cola, logos like McDonald’s golden arches, and slogans like Nike’s “Just Do It.”

Beyond indicating commercial source, trademarks serve purposes like ensuring product quality through brand reputation incentives and enabling marketing initiatives to build consumer loyalty, product recognition, and goodwill. Trademarks are valuable assets companies vigilantly police and protect through monitoring, opposition proceedings, and infringement litigation when necessary.

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