USE A TRADEMARK SYMBOL FOR YOUR STARTUP TODAY!
We’ve all seen those mysterious symbols next to brand names and logos – TM™, R ®, ©, SM. What do they all mean? Do you need them for your business?
The team at IP WORKS LAW have broken down the basic facts for trademarks to empower small business owners. This information is especially important for startups to learn how to use trademark symbols and which symbol best suites their business needs. Using the trademark symbol next to your brand name and logo will help you protect your startup and your brand.
So… what’s the difference between the trademark symbol “TM” ™, when to use the “R” ® symbol instead?
TM – Trademark Symbol ™
How To Use TM Symbol: When you use the trademark symbol TM, you tell the world that you are claiming that thing (brand, logo, product design, slogan, smell, color, sound, store design, shape) as exclusively yours, as your protected trademark.
- Use the trademark symbol to tell your customers how to recognize your goods and services and know they are buying from you and not from a competitor. AND
- Use the trademark symbol to tell your competitors “Keep off – this is ours and you are not free to use it or anything like it.”
R or ® – Registered Trademark Symbol
How To Use ® Symbol: When you use the trademark symbol ® (R), the registered trademark symbol, you tell the world that (1) You are claiming that thing (brand name, logo, product design, slogan, smell, color, sound, store design, shape) as exclusively yours, as your protected trademark, and (2) You have registered your trademark claim with the United States Patent and Trademark Office and they have examined and approved your claim to that trademark, which means (3) You have the exclusive right throughout the U.S. to use that thing (brand name, logo, etc.) as a trademark for certain goods and/or services.
- Use the ® Registered trademark symbol to tell your customers and competitors you are serious about your business and your brand, that you care about and value your trademarks.
- Use the ® Registered trademark symbol to tell your competitors you are willing to invest in your brand and your trademarks, that you are savvy enough to secure them in the United States, and that you are ready, willing and able to enforce your trademarks against infringers
- Your competitors will understand the risk to them is greater if they choose to adopt a similar trademark, because registering a U.S. trademark shows you are serious and gives you important legal advantages in a trademark fight.
Do Not Use ® Unless Your Trademark Is Registered With the USPTO!
It is illegal to use ® (R) if your trademark has not been registered with the USPTO. You will know your trademark is registered if you receive in the mail (regular, snail mail) a formal paper certificate with a gold seal and signature from the United States Patent & Trademark Office.
Your trademark will not be registered until you have made it all the way through the Trademark Registration Process, which BEGINS when you file a trademark application. Throughout the process, you can and should use ™, but you cannot use ® until you actually have your registration. It will take at least 6 months, and there are no guarantees your application will be approved.
Do you need help to POWER YOUR IDEAS? The knowledgeable legal staff at IP WORKS LAW are waiting to speak with you. Contact IP WORKS LAW today.