Trademarks – Basic Info and Registration

Trademarks or servicemarks allow people to identify the source of goods or services, not the products or services themselves. When people see your trademark, they will know where the product came from or who is providing the service. Trademarks can be names, symbols, packaging, the shape of a product, the colors of a product, the sounds, or scents associated with the product, or any combination of these. If a customer can identify the source of a product or service based on the trademark, then you have developed “secondary meaning” and have a strong trademark. To promote, protect, and keep your business from being confused with another, you should consider establishing a trademark for your business.

You may and should use the “TM” symbol immediately with use of your trademark, including while you are waiting for it to go through the registration process.  But you may only use the ® symbol after federally registering the trademark.  Check my Sept 2007 blog entry on how to put your copyright or trademark symbols on your work.  It’s all part of protecting your business.

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