By: Timothy K. Kroninger with Varnum LLP.

With an increasingly competitive marketplace challenging traditional business models, protecting intellectual property in the automotive industry has never been more vital. Among a business’s most valuable assets are the four types of intellectual property (“IP”): trademarks, copyrights, patents, and trade secrets. But, what is IP and why is it important to protect it?


A trademark is a word, name, symbol, or logo used to advertise or market a product or a service. Trademarks help to identify and distinguish the product or service from its competitors. Although “common law” rights in a trademark can be established merely by using it in commerce, registering the trademark grants the holder the legal presumption of exclusive ownership, and notifies the public that the user claims ownership. Read more.

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