What are the common trademark designations?

Cite this article as: Jason Mance Gordon, "What are the common trademark designations?," in The Business Professor, updated January 23, 2015, last accessed April 7, 2020, https://thebusinessprofessor.com/knowledge-base/what-are-the-common-trademark-designations/.

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What are common trademark designations used to indicate a claim of trademark rights in a mark?

The traditional trademark designation is (“TM”) or ™. Anyone who uses a distinctive mark may employ this symbol to put others on notice of the trademark claim. If a trademark is registered with the USPTO, the trademark owner can use the symbol ®.

•    Discussion: What do you think are the primary benefits of including a symbol to demonstrate claimed or registered trademark rights? Can you think of any disadvantages?

•    Practice Question: Eliot wants to put the world on notice that he claims trademark protection of the symbol representing his business. He has filed for federal protection with the USPTO but no trademark rights have yet been awarded. What are Eliot’s options for including a trademark designation beside his company’s symbol?

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