Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Trademark Symbols: When Can I Use Them?
Dear Rich: I’m told my company has a trademark on the company name but not the company logo. May I use the TM with the logo? We think what you mean to say is that your company has received a federal registration from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) which qualifies you to use the ® symbol with the name. It is illegal to use the ® symbol if the trademark in question has no USPTO registration. If the trademark hasn’t been registered, as in the case of your logo, the TM symbol can be used. Similarly, the SM symbol can be used for service marks that have not been registered. The TM and SM have no legal significance other than to indicate the fact that the owner is claiming trademark rights. (And yes, it's national due process day, YEA!)