- We will look at three different types of symbols used alongside a trademark in particular the symbol ®. Understanding the effects and meaning of each symbol can be useful for a to be trademark owner or someone looking to start the trademark registration process.
A TM symbol means that it can be put on a trademark if it is registered or not. It has no legal meaning. There is no guarantee of trademark protection however, it can be used next to your logo, design, slogan etc.
This stands for service mark which means that this trademark is providing services such as accounting, legal services etc. There is no guarantee of trademark protection however, it can be used next to your logo, design, slogan etc.
This sign next to your trademark means that it is legally registered with the United States Patent Trademark Office. It puts others on notice of legal ownership.
Violation of ®
If the ® symbol is used before it has been registered it can be seen as a violation of federal law. As a result, the USPTO can take action against you. In particular if they find that you intended to deliberately use the ® symbol to deceive and mislead others this can be seen as fraud. The USPTO will take it seriously and can report you to the Adminstrator for the Trademark Policy and Procedure.
Submitting your drawing to the USPTO
When you submit your trademark application, you will be required to submit your drawing in the form of a words, logo, design or a slogan etc. Do not put either of the above symbols on the mark you have submitted in the application because it will be accepted. Previously from experience applicants have submitted the symbols and an office action is issued as a result. This requires an amendment to the drawing namely removing the symbol and resubmitting the drawing. There can be a cost for this. If no response is made to the drawing or is not corrected, the application can completely be denied.