Discover how trademark, patent, and software law can help small business, entrepreneurs, and inventors. Check my blog for questions and answers.

What symbol can I use BEFORE the trademark is issued?

I'm applying for a TM now.

In the meantime, what, if any, symbol can I use in my marketing material BEFORE the TM is issued?

~ San Diego, CA

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. Please consider carefully reading the following article, or have your marketing material reviewed by an attorney.

I recommend reading this article, carefully: How to use the ™ symbol

With many trademarks selected by small business, they tend to be somewhat descriptive (rather than suggestive) so proper marking can be essential to place competitors on notice of your claim to trademark rights.

Good luck with your trademark application.

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