What is the difference between a trademark “™” and a registered trademark “®” ?

A trademark is a symbol that represents you. It carries with it the good-will and reputation associated with you or your business. For this reason the law provides certain protections for trademarks. A commonly asked question is, “What is the difference between a trademark “™” and a registered trademark “®” ?”

The “tm” trademark indicates or denotes that you are claiming the right to use a particular trademark as your “brand.” However, a “tm” trademark may or may not be registered. An unregistered trademark is still protected under the law though it may not be as protected as a registered trademark. A registered trademark “®” is a trademark that is registered with a governmental entity. Meaning that, this entity has proof that you are using this trademark as your brand. This provides better protection for your trademark than leaving it unregistered.

A common example of a protection afforded by registering your trademark is that the registration earmarks a point in time which you officially started using your trademark as your brand. This date is on file with the trademark registration office and helps you defend against other parties attempting to use your trademark or claiming it as their own. Essentially a trademark registration provides you with proof that the trademark belongs to you.

Trademark registration only provides protection for certain aspects of your trademark. For example, see the Efinitytech logo below:

 Efinitytech Logo

This Trademark has two main components to it. (1) the “e” inside a white square and (2) the text “efinitytech” below. The “e” inside the white square is the logo. The words “efinitytech” below the logo are actually the trade name. Registration of this trademark may only protect the “e” inside the white square and might not afford protection to the text below. It may be necessary to file a registration for a trade name to afford protection to the text as well.

This is a very short answer to a very complex area of law. It is only meant as a primer on the topic and is by no means a comprehensive answer. Please note, this article is not intended as legal advice. If you would like to know more about trademarks, registration, or other matters please feel free to reach out to us at www.Baxterlegalservices.com