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What’s the difference between TM, SM and ®?

TM, SM and ® – Trademark Symbols:

TM can be used both for product and service trademarks. The TM is used with goods or services while SM can only be used with services. Some advertiser will use the SM for service trademarks and it has essentially the same legal effect as the TM. By using this mark, the owner puts the entire world on ‘notice’ that the mark is unique and owned by him or her. It is commonly used prior to registration with the United States Patent and Trademark Office [USPTO].

The R in a circle symbol, ®, stands for “Federally Registered Trademark” and can be used only if the mark is registered by the USPTO. A trademark is an intellectual property and it can be bought, sold, leased, lost, or destroyed, like any other piece of property. The registered trademark symbol ® should always be used in conjunction with the mark and the failure to do so may result in the loss of rights.

You can start using the TM and SM from the moment you decide to claim your rights on a mark. However, the federal trademark registration symbol “®” can only be used after the USPTO actually registers the mark, and not even while the application is pending. The trademark registration symbol can be used with the mark only on or in connection with the goods and services listed in the federal trademark registration.

Baner Law

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