Brand is defined as an unique design, name, sign, symbol, word or a combination of these, employed in creating an image that identifies a product and differentiates it from its competitors. At the same time it is associated with a quality, credibility and satisfaction in consumer’s mind. Brand is a promise that helps consumers in their buying process. It represents the most valuable intangible asset that company possesses.
The legal name of a brand is a trademark. By definition, a trademark is any word, name, symbol (logo), number, colour, slogan, design, sound or smell, or any combination thereof used to identify and distinguish products from those manufactured or sold by others. Trademark is another way of referring to brands. As such, trademarks need careful handling, care, nurturing and protection; otherwise they may lose value, be stolen or simply be destroyed or lost. Choosing and defending a trademark is often a very important part of a company’s marketing strategy.
Brands can be protected and unprotected. Unprotected brands are famous and popular and can afford not to be protected. However, a better option for companies is to protect their brands. In this modern world, where there is a trend of deregulation of businesses and industry and liberalization of international trade, along with revolutionary changes in business models and the advance of IT and communication technology, the need for brand protection is enormous. The subject of protection may be a name, logo, color, slogan, design or a combination thereof. However, there are certain questions about protecting brands regarding what can and can’t be protected as a trademark, what are the most used trademarks, what are their advantages and disadvantages, how to choose brand’s elements that need to be protected, etc. This paper aims to answer these questions as trademarks are very important for business and marketing.

Key words

trademark, brand, protection, brand identity, differentiation, marketing

JEL Codes: M31


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