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Can I use ® circle (R) with a state trademark?

Which symbol do I use if I have a Certificate of Registration of a trademark from the SCC State Corporation Commission?

Can I use the circle (R)?

~ Virginia

You can use the tm symbol ™. The circle (R) symbol ® is reserved for use by trademarks registered with the US Patent and Trademark Office. It is only for trademarks that are registered. It may not be used with trademarks that are pending or merely applied for. It may only be used with the goods or services that are listed on the registration certificate. See 15 U.S.C. § 1111.

Moreover, the Trademark Manual of Examining Procedure at section 906.02 gives the following guidance regarding use of circle (R) symbol ®:

Improper use of the federal registration symbol that is deliberate and intended to deceive or mislead the public is fraud.

Of course, most people are not aware of these rules, so, it goes on to say.

However, misunderstandings about use of federal registration symbols are more frequent than occurrences of actual fraudulent intent.

In case you are interested, See these cases which discuss trademark marking. You can find some of these cases using Google Scholar set to "case law". Sauquoit Paper Co., Inc. v. Weistock, 46 F.2d 586, 8 USPQ 349 (C.C.P.A. 1931); Dunleavy Co. v. Koeppel Metal Furniture Corp., 134 USPQ 450 (TTAB 1962), aff’d, 328 F.2d 939, 140 USPQ 582 (C.C.P.A. 1964); Radiant Mfg. Corp. v. Da-Lite Screen Co., 128 USPQ 132 (TTAB 1961); Tobacco By-Products & Chemical Corp. v. Smith, 106 USPQ 293 (Comm’r Pats. 1955), modified 243 F.2d 188, 113 USPQ 339 (C.C.P.A. 1957).

In addition, it is possible that the use of the wrong trademark symbol could subject your business to a false advertising claim.

Good luck with your trademark.

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