Consumers are Protected by Trademarks

Trademarks are the words, slogans, logos, package design, or trade dress that is used to identify or distinguish a company's product.  Trademarks are a form of property that is commonly thought to protect the corporate owner and limit competition.  However, in reality trademarks help customers as well as the owner of the mark.  

Imagine a world where your favorite beverage sat on a shelf undistinguishable from every other.  You purchase what you think is your favorite beverage only to find it is not.  Your money is not spent as you wanted and the company that produces your beverage has lost out on a sale.

Trademark rights enable companies to prevent competitors from using marks that would cause confusion as to the source of a product.  The owners of the mark gain enforceable rights when they start using qualifying mark.  The rights are further enhanced by registering the mark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.  The enhanced rights include nationwide protection and a presumption of notice to aid in defense.  (Not to mention the right to use "®"!)

The ability of a consumer to find his chosen product and have assurance that it is the product is underlying basis for trademarks.  Companies should protect themselves and their customers by trademarking their products.  

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