Brief Notes

Trademark – Proper Usage


This brief note is not legal advice and is for educational purposes only.
Congratulations your trademark (mark) registration was granted and issued on the registration date noted on the mark certificate

Registered trademark. You may now use the circle R ® on your goods or services that are covered by your trademark registration. Please do not use it on articles/services beyond what you described in the trademark registration as this is not allowed and exposes you to legal consequences.

Note that if you had previously been using TM (for trademark) or SM (for service mark) (both have no legal meaning), you can now replace it with circle R like this superscript symbol ®.

Now that you have a registered trademark it comes with legal rights. If you want to preserve and possibly exercise those rights you should take action to protect the registered trademark from unauthorized use. This is called policing the mark. The ® is a legal notice to others that you have a registered trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Unauthorized use by an infringer entitles you as the registered owner of the mark to claim profits and damages from the unauthorized use. Thus, you want to use ® on your goods/services and failing to do so could be used by an infringer as a defense that you waived the use of the mark.

If your product is too small to place a ® indicia on it, then in any data sheet or literature with your product simply state something like this:
Next Greatest Product is a registered trademark with the US Patent and Trademark Office
– or a variation like this:
Next Greatest Product is a trademark of XYZ Corporation. Reg. U.S. Pat. & Tm. Off.

Remember to maintain your trademark by filing the proper documents when due (section 8, 9, and 15).

Try and be consistent in your use of the trademark and avoid variations. Use for example, Logemx® not variations like Logemx’s®, L o g e m x®, L*o*g*e*m*x®. Try and use the trademark if possible as an adjective like: Logemx® socks. Try and not use the mark as just a noun or a verb.

Genericide. If your mark becomes so popular and you don’t protect it, it can suffer genericide. Such was the fate of “aspirin”, “Xerox”, “kleenex”, and others. None of my clients has had their mark suffer this fate .

Registered International trademark. Talk to your attorney, as this gets complicated


These are just the major points on proper usage of a trademark. Contact your attorney for any clarifications and certainly contact your attorney in the case of an alleged infringer BEFORE you contact the alleged infringer.

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