A trademark is a combination of letters, words, symbols or designs that distinguishes one company’s goods and services from those of others. Trademarks are important to businesses because they help protect a company’s name, logo and brand image. They also give a business the ability to stop others from using the same trademarks and names without permission.
A design patent protects the overall visual appearance of an invention or article. It does not cover any functional features. Design patents are often used to protect graphical user interfaces and other types of product designs. In recent years, they have become a key intellectual property tool for many technology-driven companies.