13.4. Trademarks

Trademarks are the stuff of advertising. Technically speaking, trademark protection is obtainable for any word, symbol, or combination thereof that is used on goods to indicate their source. Any word—even common words such as "look," "life," and "apple"—can become a trademark, so long as the word is not used descriptively. "Apple" for fruit salad might not be protectable, but Apple for computers certainly is, and so, too, is Apple for a record company. Interestingly, the Beatles' company, Apple Corps, which owns the trademark Apple in the context of recorded music, unsuccessfully sued Apple Computer on the grounds that the Apple iPod, which downloads and plays recorded music, infringes the Beatles' trademark.[] It was expected that Apple Corps would appeal the ruling, which was made by a British judge in May 2006. In February, 2007, Apple Inc. and Apple Corps announced a settlement of their trademark dispute under which Apple Inc. will own all of the trademarks related to "Apple" and will license certain of those trademarks back to Apple Corps for their continued use.

Common forms such as geometric shapes (circles, triangles, squares), natural shapes (trees, animals, humans), combinations of shapes, and colors may also be protected. Even the single color pink has been protected as a trademark for building insulation. Three-dimensional shapes such as bottle and container shapes and building features (for example, McDonald's golden arches) can serve as trademarks. ...

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