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Managing Your Intellectual Property Assets by Scott Shane

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Trademarks

Trademarks are devices used to identify the provider of a product or service.1 While they offer much less intellectual property protection than patents, copyrights, or trade secrets, they do help companies to protect their brand names. For example, the Intel Inside® trademark helps Intel build its brand by making it easier for that company to differentiate itself from competitors.

In addition, trademarks can be used as leverage to drive other forms of strategic advantage. For example, Cisco recently settled a lawsuit with Apple Computer Inc. over violation of its iPhone trademark. Cisco wanted Apple to make its iPod and iPhone products compatible with non-Apple products. By blocking Apple’s use of the iPhone name, Cisco forced Apple ...

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