Proper Trademark Notice
Hi – I’m Steven Thrasher and I’m a trademark attorney licensed by the US Patent and Trademark Office [for over 20 years]. One of the questions I get most often is “Steve, how do I give proper notice of my registration?” or “how do I give proper notice that this is my mark?” Well this is actually something we don’t want to overcomplicate, so let’s make it straightforward and answer your question.
Let’s start with a (R) — “Circle R” — if your mark is actually registered by the USPTO. So, for example if you’ve (entirely) gone through the E5 Trademark Process(TM) you’ve actually gone through Examination and your mark is published in the Official Gazette — that’s the official date that your mark is Registered — you use a (R). Whether it’s on the primary or the secondary register, use the (R) symbol. By the way, if you aren’t really sure what the difference between those two registers are, keep watching these videos and I’ll address that question for you later.
A “TM” is the notice that you use to identify your slogan, your word mark, or the logo that you’re using to say that it is entitled to whatever rights you have. It is it’s just giving a notice (of ‘trademark intent’) and it’s even used for common law notice.
However, one mistake that I see occasionally is that some entrepreneurs seem to think that if they give a notice with a TM, that for some reason it excuses a potential infringement issue [it doesn’t]. So, you’ll want to make sure that you do something we call “due diligence.” That’s just attorney speak for the research to make sure that whatever mark you use — whether it’s a logo, a slogan, or word, doesn’t infringe someone else’s rights. So, again, TM is for identifying your word, slogan, or logo until the point of (Federal) Registration and at the point your mark is actually registered you can use the Circle R (R).
Now some people also ask “well does this have to be a superscript or subscript or whatever?” Well, just any form of designation is fine. So, now we’ve clarified that little issue as well.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask below and keep watching the videos. I look forward to seeing you in the next one, and don’t forget to subscribe now for the latest about trademarks.
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