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What is the difference between the symbols ® and ™ from a legal perspective?

lawtrades intellectual property

Essentially, the TM symbol indicates that common-rights laws apply to the brand, and that the slogan, symbol, or logo is being publicly claimed. However, the use of the TM symbol does not offer automatic protections. It’s not yet registered with the USPTO.

In order to be successful in any sort of infringement lawsuit, the individual must be able to prove that:

  1. He or she was the first to use the trademark.
  2. The other party’s use of the trademark confuses the consumer.

The R symbol indicates that the trademark has actually been registered and has been filed with USPTO. This symbol provides more rights in the courts and carries more weight in your chosen industry.

For a more thorough explanation of the difference between the two symbols, check out our blog What Is the Difference Between TM (Trademark), R (Registered), and C (Copyright)?

Understanding the difference makes a huge difference from a legal perspective. If you’d like to chat with an intellectual property attorney, check out our website and let us know if we can help!