Trademark Law

The “(r)” may be used if a trademark is registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The “TM” symbol may be used for a product that is not yet registered with the USPTO. The “SM” symbol may be used with a service that is not yet registered with the USPTO.

Symbols that May be Used Without Registration

A party may use the “TM” (trademark) or “SM” (service mark) designation to alert the public to that party’s claim. It is not necessary for the party to have filed an application with the USPTO. Although there are no federal regulations governing the use of the designations “TM” or “SM” with trademarks, use of those symbols may be governed by local, state, or foreign laws so the laws of the pertinent jurisdiction should be consulted prior to use of either “TM” or “SM.”

Federal Registration Symbol

The federal registration symbol “(r)” may be used only after the USPTO actually registers a mark. It may not be used while an application is pending. The registration symbol may be used with a mark only on or in connection with the goods and/or services that are listed in the federal trademark registration.

Once a federal registration is issued, the registrant may give notice of registration by using the registration symbol “(r)” or the phrase “Registered in U.S. Patent and Trademark Office” or “Reg. U.S. Pat. & Tm. Off.”

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