Trademarks play a crucial role in protecting a brand's identity and distinguishing its products or services from competitors in the marketplace. When it comes to trademarks, you might have noticed two symbols frequently used: the registered trademark symbol ® and the trademark symbol ™. While they may appear similar, they actually convey different meanings. In this blog post, we will explore the distinction between these two symbols and what they represent.
Registered Trademark ®: The registered trademark symbol, denoted by the circled "R" (®), signifies that a trademark has been officially registered with the relevant government authority, such as the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in the United States or the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) in the United Kingdom. This symbol provides the highest level of protection for a brand's intellectual property rights.
Benefits of Registered Trademarks:
Legal Protection: Registering a trademark grants the owner exclusive rights to use the mark in connection with specific goods or services within a particular jurisdiction. It offers legal recourse in case of infringement and allows for pursuing damages against unauthorized use.
Nationwide/Global Recognition: A registered trademark enjoys nationwide or global recognition, ensuring that others are aware of your ownership and reducing the chances of similar marks being registered by competitors.
Deterrence: The ® symbol serves as a deterrent against potential infringers, signaling that the brand takes its intellectual property rights seriously and is willing to protect them.
Trademark ™: The trademark symbol, represented by the superscript "TM" (™), is commonly used to indicate that a person or entity claims ownership over a particular mark. Unlike the registered trademark symbol, the ™ symbol does not require official registration and can be used freely without formal government approval. It acts as a notice of common law rights associated with the mark.
Key Aspects of Trademarks:
Brand Identity: The ™ symbol helps establish and strengthen brand identity by distinguishing products or services from competitors. It creates a sense of credibility and trust among consumers.
Early Usage: While registration is not mandatory for using the ™ symbol, it is advisable to consider registering the trademark to enhance protection and prevent unauthorized use by others.
Limited Legal Protection: Although not as robust as a registered trademark, common law rights associated with the ™ symbol may still offer some level of legal protection against infringement within the geographical area where the mark is used and recognized.
As any example, Anything is Posh Able® is a registered entity with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, under registration number 6,314,306. This trademark holds immense significance for our brand, offering robust legal protection, safeguarding our brand's identity and preventing unauthorized use by others. By registering this trademark, we have secured exclusive rights to utilize the mark in connection with specific goods or services, establishing ownership and deterring potential infringers.
So if you aren't sure about which to apply for - remember the registered trademark symbol ® signifies an officially registered trademark, providing the highest level of protection and nationwide/global recognition. On the other hand, the trademark symbol ™ asserts a claim of ownership and establishes common law rights associated with a mark. Both symbols are valuable assets for businesses, but the decision to register a trademark depends on various factors, including the brand's reach, potential for expansion, and desire for stronger legal protection.
Remember, consulting with a trademark attorney or intellectual property professional is essential to navigate the complexities of trademark law and ensure your brand's assets are adequately protected.