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Internet Protection Computers Computer Law Intellectual Property
Can I protect how people, or even computers, can recognize me?
Well, yes, but only as long as the means are something created by you, and are used in commerce. (You probably won’t be able to “copyright” your retinal pattern any more than you could your fingerprint.) For example, how your goods and/or services are identified by, or known to, the community can be the subject of a trade-or service -mark. A ” trademark” is a word, a phrase, a picture, a sound, and even a scent, as long as it serves to identify your product/service to the world.
The advent of the Internet has made trademarks particularly attractive, since even the smallest company now can have a near-global reach for a minimum of effort. Trademarks, like patents and copyrights, must be registered with and issued by national governments; in the U.S., they must be “signaled” or identified to customers by the superscripted or following ®. (Using that symbol when you do not have a registered trademark is a criminal offense.) If you want to signal that you are claiming a mark for a word or phrase, even before you have finished registering it, you should follow it with a superscripted “T”. Only unique registered marks can exist within any given channel of commerce, to avoid confusing the public. General terms cannot be registered (you can’t claim what already is “public property”). And registering a mark does not allow you to then stop others from using the same mark wherever they had been using it before your registration occurred (though they can’t expand). And this has presented some major problems with the advent of the Internet.
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