Many items may be protected by the trademark law, mainly the company's logo, its name, product names, and various sales-promotion slogans.
The fundamental principle of the law is to assist consumers to distinguish between products. Trademarks are always associated with particular products. A trademark could be a name, a combination of a name with a mark, special packaging, or any other means that help consumers to identify the product or the service as being provided by the trademark holder. Trademarks are protected by case law, Federal laws, and state and municipal laws. No protection is usually afforded to a mark that symbolizes a phenomenon or simply describes the product. It is impossible, for instance, to trademark the word "television" as describing a television. Trademarks are automatically protected by virtue of being used, but may also be registered. When using a trademark, it is recommended that the symbol ® be used if the name is registered with the Patent and Trademark Office, and the symbol ™ if it is not registered.
Historically, high tech industries have not resorted to trademark laws to any significant degree. However, in recent years the industry has paid much attention to developing trademarks, which often underlie various legal actions. Intel, for instance, is known for promoting its registered name which appears on any computer containing processors manufactured by it ("Intel inside").