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A trademark includes any word, name, symbol, or device, or any combination thereof used by a person to identify and distinguish his or her goods from those manufactured or sold by others and to indicate the source of the goods, even if that source is unknown.

Trademarks allow companies and businesses to distinguish their products and to prevent consumer confusion among products, and protect the means they’ve chose to identify their products or services.

Trademarks can be distinctive words, phrases, logos, symbols, slogans or other things that identify the source of the product and make it distinctive. A trademark can either be inherently distinctive, or it can gain its distinctiveness over a period of time by being associated with a particular product or service (for instance, the Nike swoosh).

Trademarks can consist of letters, numbers, sounds, smells, colors, or even product shapes used to promote and distinguish the product in the marketplace.

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