How to Mark Your Trademark
The purpose of registering your trademark is to avoid confusion among consumers and to orrectly identify your trademark. There are two symbols commonly used to mark trademarks: ® and ™. Everyone who uses a trademark symbol should know at least the following four things:
- The correct trademark symbol to use
- Why trademark symbols are used
- Where trademark symbols are placed
- How to insert a trademark symbol into your document
Which to use: ™ or ® ?
Your business can use the ™ symbol whenever it wishes to claim a trademark. You do not need to file any paperwork to receive permission to use the ™ symbol. Use of the ™ symbol can put your competition on notice that your business considers a mark to be your trademark. The ® symbol may only be used after the US Government grants a federal registration certificate. The ® symbol may not be used while the federal application is pending. Additionally, the ® symbol may only be used in connection with the goods and services listed on the registration certificate.
Why use symbols? To Notify Competitors
Even though a trademark symbol is not required, always use the correct trademark symbol with your trademark. Your competitors will be put on notice of your trademark and then they can respect your intellectual property. Likewise, you can prevent your customers from becoming confused by respecting the trademarks of others, whether they use the ® or ™ symbol. Importantly, for registered trademarks, use of the ® symbol may be necessary to claim damages and court costs if your business has to sue a competitor. If you have not properly provided notice of your trademark, you may not be able to obtain money, damages, or recover your costs.
Where do you place ™ or ® symbols?
Three placement techniques
- Placement of the ™ or ® symbol immediately adjacent to the trademark, every time it is used.
- Placement of ™ or ® or * (asterisk) or †(dagger) or ‡ (double dagger) symbol right near the first use of the trademark. Then provide a footnote that describes the trademark.
Placement in other nearby or adjacent areas, like sub-scripted, may work well and could look better.A footnote description might read like this for federally registered marks, when the most prominent use of the trademark is marked with a dagger.
EXAMPLES† NIKE and the swoosh logo are trademarks registered in the US Patent and Trademark Office.Or, alternately, you can use the abbreviation:†NIKE and the swoosh logo. Reg. U.S. Pat. & Tm. Off.If you do not use ® (the first placement technique) with your registered trademark, you must use the phrase “registered in the US Patent and Trademark Office” or its abbreviated form “Reg. U.S. Pat. & Tm. Off.” for all US registered trademarks.Or a footnote description might read like this for marks not federally registered† The crown logo is a trademark of MyCompany, Inc.