What do the symbols © and ® mean?

A trademark is a word, phrase, symbol, design, color, sound, or a combination thereof, that serves to identify the source of goods or services from those of another. 

Trademark registration puts the world on notice that this is your trademark and no one else can use it. 

Questions frequently arise about how trademarks should be used and what do these symbols mean.

® means that this is a federally registered trademark. It has been approved through the formal filing process. The owner of the brand has completed the process and received a certificate stating that it is federally registered. 

™ is a little bit different because it means you haven’t registered it yet. Either you haven’t started the process or you are in the process but you have not gotten your approval yet.

℠ is a service mark and it is almost the same with ™. The only difference is that you are in the service industry as opposed to selling goods or something tangible. So, if you’re selling accounting services, or life insurance policies, you are more into a service industry and you haven’t registered it yet.

You will receive common law protection without federally registering your trademark, but registration carries multiple benefits including enhanced rights and evidentiary benefits at trial.

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