Registered Trademark Symbol Confusion

Some small business owners may have some confusion about when they may use the registered trademark symbol, or even what the registered trademark symbol is; so, what is it and when can you use it?

Here’s the quick and dirty: you can begin using a superscript TM (that’s the floating TM at the end of a word, logo, etc.) when you have an intent to claim a trademark on the word, logo or whatever it is that you intend to claim a trademark for.  Now that superscript TM is different than the registered trademark symbol in that it represents an intent, not an actual trademark that has been approved and issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

By contrast, the registered trademark symbol (which is the R inside a circle) may be used when, and only when, you have a registered trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.  The process by which to obtain your trademark can be lengthy, and may take over a couple years.  However, once you receive confirmation from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office that your trademark registration has been accepted, then you may begin to use the registered trademark symbol.

If you have questions about trademarks, Integrated General Counsel can help you determine your next steps.  If you are ready for a results-driven plan of action, contact us either by telephone at (925) 399-1529, schedule yourself into our calendar for an appointment at a time convenient for you, or complete the Contact Kristen form and we will get back to you.