Armored assets

Trademarks need global protection because of their overall value

Trademarks are just not a form of legal protection. They represent a company's brand and are therefore extremely valuable. For instance, worldwide investment in branding totaled about a half a trillion dollars in 2011, according to the World Intellectual Property Organization.

Given all that trademarks involve, many companies—including Chrysler—do everything they can to leverage trademarks. That means that the general counsel's office plays a key role company-wide when it comes to trademark usage.

Many companies opt to post online a policy on how they expect trademarks to be used by the public. Some companies have a dedicated inbox for those seeking permission to use the company's trademarks.

Another sector where there are trademark issues is the area of new domain names. In 2011, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) approved a plan to expand the number of new Generic Top Level Domains. These could include such examples as .money or .beer.

Contributing Author

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Ed Silverstein

Ed Silverstein is a veteran writer and editor for magazines, websites and newspapers. A graduate of Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, he has won several...

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