Trademarks have evolved from the ancient mark of a craft to what is recognized today in most industrial nations as a governmentally regulated trademark application and registration system having a national scope.

In some parts of the world, it is possible to have regional trademarks that have an even broader scope of protection. In the United States, it is possible to have common law rights, state registration rights and federal registration rights. Whether protected under federal statute, state statutes or common law, all forms of protection essentially provide the trademark holder with certain exclusive rights to use the trademark in some designated field of commerce in some geographic area.

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