Every year, Business Week takes a look at the 100 most valuable brand names. It's a collection of world-beaters, literally. And, yes, once again The Motley Fool got royally shafted! Go figure. But, seriously now, because the list is global in scope, it always helps to drop those patriotic-tinted specs.

There's a great big world out there, and that's why a stateside darling like Dell (NASDAQ:DELL), No. 29 on the list, can get trumped by Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) at No. 12. It's why Yum! Brands' (NYSE:YUM) Pizza Hut can punch in at No. 49 while Domino's is glossed over completely.

Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) just made the cut at No. 93? Are you kidding me? What happened to Krispy Kreme (NYSE:KKD)? Oh, the inhumanity.

Yes, this is clearly a list with a global emphasis. While all but two of the ten most valuable brands on the list are the handiwork of American companies, you will also come across international titans that may not exactly be household names on this side of the Atlantic.

But you didn't come here for the nuance. You were sold on the big 10, and either you're not up to looking up the list right now or you're still rummaging for your August 4 issue of Business Week. No problem. Here are the 10 heavy hitters:

1. Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) -- Coke is it! No contest, really. It's prestige in exchange for pocket change all over the world. Business Week pegs the value of the Coca-Cola name at $70.5 billion. That's awfully rich for carbonated sugar water. But it's also interesting to see that Pepsi's (NYSE:PEP) namesake fizz rests 22 slots lower on the list, and that it is only worth $11.8 billion.

2. Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) -- Well, you knew Mr. Softy would be breathing down Coke's back. With just over $65 billion in brand value, Coca-Cola and Microsoft have a cozy lead over the rest of the pack. One has to wonder if things like rampant piracy of Microsoft's operating systems in China hurts or helps the company's brand value. Yes, the company isn't making any money on bootleg copies, but it's one more hurdle for Linux to clear.

3. IBM (NYSE:IBM) -- Putting the "International" in International Business Machines, IBM has evolved from the company that gave Microsoft a leg-up in the world to become a global powerhouse in information technology services. Thanks to internal growth and some interesting acquisitions in margin-happy areas, the company is now crediting a third of its profits to software.

4. General Electric (NYSE:GE) -- Running neck and neck with Microsoft in terms of market capitalization, GE dabbles in everything from jet engines to financial services to gearing up for the final season of Friends on its NBC network. But its flagship brand, which appears on everything from kitchen appliances to that lightbulb that you've been meaning to replace, is something special.

5. Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) -- You couldn't have a brand party without the chips. Intel commands nearly 83% of the microprocessor market. Even with the pesky AMD (NYSE:AMD) in the way, that's an amazing share in any industry.

6. Nokia (NYSE:NOK) -- The world's leading cell phone company is Finnish -- not finished. What had once been a heated three-legged wireless race between Motorola (NYSE:MOT), Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERICY), and Nokia is now Nokia's to lose.

7. Disney (NYSE:DIS) -- Between the animated classics and the world's most popular theme parks, this is no Mickey Mouse company. While the Disney brand and its signature logo may have slipped lately as its newest domestic theme parks struggle and its partner Pixar (NASDAQ:PIXR) is the new king of animation, it's still the leader in family entertainment.

8. McDonald's (NYSE:MCD) -- The world's largest restaurant chain, by far, is starting to bounce back nicely from last year's dollar menu fiasco. But we won't know if the best of the salad days are still to come for Mickey D's until next year's rankings.

9. Marlboro -- Altria's (NYSE:MO) workhorse is the Marlboro Man. Yet litigious lawyers know that where there's smoke there's also settlement fire. Of the four brands on the list that declined in value over the past year, Marlboro's 8% slide is the steepest.

10. Mercedes -- DaimlerChrysler (NYSE:DCX) has got a case of the Benz, and it wouldn't have it any other way. While Ford (NYSE:F) rests four notches lower and General Motors' (NYSE:GM) collection of brands is so diversified that not a single one landed on the top 100 names, Mercedes is the snazzy set of wheels claiming the automotive pole position.

So, there you have it. Ubiquity's bar tab is huge. While the assigning of value -- and in this case BW's interpretation of Interbrand's data -- to something as subjective as a brand name can always be argued, the right name is clearly worth plenty.

Berkshire Hathaway's (NYSE:BRK.A) Warren Buffett once told Fortune magazine that if someone offered him $100 billion to take away the global soft drink leadership of Coca-Cola, he would send it right back. It couldn't be done, he argued. He said this 10 years ago.

Since then, how much more has the perceived value of Coke appreciated? Considerably. I, for one, appreciate that appreciation.

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Rick Aristotle Munarriz figures that if he were a brand he'd fetch somewhere in the vicinity of three bucks and change. He mentioned a lot of publicly traded companies in this article and has small equity stakes in Disney, Pixar, and Ford. Rick's other stock holdings can be viewed online, as can the Fool's disclosure policy.