Editor's Note: Esther Dyson, CEO of EDventure Holdings, is an active investor in a variety of start-ups around the world. Her interests include information technology, health care, private aviation, and space travel. For more from Esther Dyson, visit Project Syndicate or follow it on Facebook and Twitter.
By Esther Dyson, Project Syndicate
A name is just a sound or sequence of letters. It carries no value or meaning other than as a pointer to something in people's minds – a concept, a person, a brand, or a particular thing or individual.
In modern economies, people distinguish between generic words, which refer to concepts or a set of individual things (a certain kind of fruit, for example), and trademarks, which refer to specific goods or services around which someone has built value. By law, actual words can’t be trademarks, but specific arrangements of words – such as Evernote or Apple Computer – can be protected. FULL POST