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Abstract

Trademarks are not just property, they are aesthetic creations that pervade everyday experience. One estimate is that the average person encounters more than 1,000 trademarks per day, many of which influence purchases and product use.

As pervasive aesthetic creations having literary, pictorial, graphic, sculptural, and musical content, trademarks deserve aesthetic analysis. The article discusses the origins, strength, appeal, and effectiveness of trademarks within the context of aesthetic considerations such as meaning, intention, authorship, and mode of creation. Also reviewed are morphemic and phonemic analysis of trademarks, semantic positioning, the dichotomy between creation and discovery of trademarks, and the differences between trademarks and titles.

The discussion is confined to "word marks" consisting of alphanumeric characters, since discussing other kinds of marks (such as designs, configurations, sounds, colors, and scents) would raise issues well beyond the scope of a single article.

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Esthetics Commons

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