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Trademarks will protect names, words, symbols colors or sounds used to distinguish specific products and services. Unlike patents, which are only good for 20 years, trademarks can always be renewed as long as they are for business use. Trademarks are important marketing tools to distinguish one product from another.

Some examples of familiar trademarks include the shape of the Coca-Cola bottle, the roar of the MGM lion or the "?" on Guess clothing. Trademarks help products be recognizable by consumers. Companies or individuals can register or claim common law, which requires not official registration. Trademarks may prevent others from using your specific mark, but not from making a similar product with a different mark or symbol.