™ — trademark marking

Articles, Questions & Answers by Andrew P. Lahser, Attorney
  1. What is tm in small letters? Is it trademark also?
    Yes, it is not uncommon to use tm or (tm) instead of the correct typographic symbol ™. That is a claim for trademark rights.
  2. What is proper notice for a registered trademark?
    Three choices: 1) ® 2) Registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office or 3) Reg. U.S. Pat. & Tm. Off.
  3. How to use ® and ™ Symbols
    Can I legally use the ™ symbol before I apply for a trademark registration? Yes. But not the ® (circle r) symbol. Learn to use ™ (tm) properly.
  4. Why do some large companies use tm instead of ®?
    Large companies may be advertising to purchasers in several nations, who have conflicting laws regarding the use of ®. So, they use ™ instead.
  5. What font for ® registered trademark symbol?
    The purpose of the ® (registered trademark symbol) is to provide notice. If the symbol cannot be read, then it is not providing notice.
  6. Must I indicate a company's tm or registered mark when blogging?
    If you are in the business of blogging (publishing), then you always risk being sued for a variety of reasons. Be prudent. Carry insurance. Know enough about the law that relates to journalism. Also, learn journalistic etiquette.
  7. Where does the TM symbol have to go?
    The most conservative advice related to trademark marking usually consists of having an appropriate mark each and every time that the trademark is used.
  8. What symbol can I use BEFORE the trademark is issued?
    By convention, you can use the ™ symbol, or a superscripted TM. The (r) and ® (pronounced "circle r") can only be used after registration is complete.