A Registered Trademark Symbol ® Explained

The registered trademark symbol is the circled capital letter R, which provides notice that the preceding word or symbol is a trademark or service mark registered with a trademark office. Additionally, most people wonder what the bolded, uppercase “TM” symbol stands for after a company's trademark.

A business may use the TM symbol whenever it wishes to claim a trademark, and you do not need to file any paperwork previously. This will put anyone who sees the mark on notice that your company considers it trademarked.

On the other hand, the encircled R may only be used after the US Government grants a Federal registration certificate. The ® symbol can only be used upon receipt of approval from the federal government as well. Lastly, the symbol may only be used in connection with the goods and services listed on the registration certificate.

Either symbol will be valid in court to prove that you are the only one with the rights to the specific trademark. However, for the use of a registered trademark symbol, it may be necessary to use the ® symbol in order to claim damages and court costs if your business has to sue a competitor. The point simply goes back to the fact that if you do not properly put the world on notice your trademark or attempt to display your trademark, you may not obtain monetary damages.

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