Trademarks can be words or symbols used to distinguish goods and services of one company or of one individual business entity from another. They can be maintained in the form of text, graphics, and sound. Trademarks provide rights to the exclusive use of the mark as a representation of the company or individual with prior registration.
Trademarks have no inherent value in themselves but derive protection on the basis of their ability to represent the value in the intangible quality of a company’s or individual’s goodwill. Goodwill comprises reputation, length of effective dealings with the public, good record of service or product support, or other ongoing positive associations with the public. Although goodwill is an intangible entity, it is treated as a tangible asset for purposes of accounting in tax law, contract for sale, and valuation for stock purposes.