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Trade Secrets

Mark our words: In the battle to get your product noticed, a trademark can be your best friend.

This story appears in the November 1998 issue of Business Start-Ups magazine.

While a patent provides protection for your invention, most patents have narrow claims, meaning they prevent competition only from designs that are very similar to the patented product. When you are issued a narrow patent, one way to protect your product and make it stand out in the market is by using trademarks consumers will identify with your product.

A good example is the Mr. Coffee drip coffee maker. This machine has several patents, but there are many similar products on the market, and the trademarked "Mr. Coffee" name is the one widely recognized by consumers.

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