Most business owners understand that they must patent, copyright and/or trademark important intellectual property related to the functioning of their businesses. However, the interest of intellectual property holders is not always protected simply by the act of patenting, trademarking or copyrighting work domestically. In particular, small businesses are increasingly targeted for intellectual property theft, precisely because many small businesses believe that they do not have the resources to properly protect their intellectual property or enforce their rights.
A trademark is often thought of as a word, phrase or logo used as an identification mark for distinguishing goods and services of a particular manufacturer or seller, however, under extreme circumstances, certain characteristics like the color or particular shape of a product may also be afforded trademark protection. This may happen when the color or shape is used distinctively on a product in an unconventional way.
Reputation is a key factor to its success. A company's trademark provides that business with a distinctive identity. A trademark may be a name, word, logo, symbol, image or a combination of all of these examples. People often identify a company by its brand.