People always ask when, why and how they can use different trademark symbols. In this post, we'll review the different trademark symbols and their use.
First, as soon as one uses a name or logo, common law trademark rights kick in, and "TM" for goods or "SM" in the event of services can be used in connection with a name or logo. If you haven't done your homework, using "TM" or "SM" is not going to ward off potential claims of infringement if someone else happens to be using your name or tagline, but it's at least notification to those you do business with that you intend to claim trademark rights.
if you've submitted a trademark registration application to USPTO and it's been approved and gone on to registration, you are allowed to now use the R in the circle symbol as shown above. This symbol means that the mark has actually been registered. Federally registered marks carry strong rights and remedies in the event of infringement.
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Sarah E. Holmes is a Philadelphia business attorney and strategist that helps start ups and established businesses looking to expand, protect their assets and increase their profits in an approachable, down-to-earth way. When you're looking for a business lawyer near you, we offer several convenient locations.