So you have a logo and you are about to create a website when your web designer asks you, “Should we put the ™ or ® next to the logo?” You scratch your head in uncertainty. That’s okay, a lot of new business owners forget all about this little symbol at the end of their logo, after all it is really tiny…
Although little symbols, it’s important to know about ™ & ® because they happen to have a big legal significance in which to protect your brand. Here are three tips on how to use these symbols in order to be legally correct.
1. Choose the right symbol – ™ or ®
Some small businesses don’t know what symbol to use so they just do as they see. Although, “the big brands do it like this so we should too” mentality doesn’t work here because both marks have a very different meaning.
So here is how you should determine which symbol is right for you:
You should use the ™ symbol on any mark that you plan to trademark. In essence, if you have sought to register your trademark or are contemplating to register a trademark use the ™ symbol.
Use the ® symbol if you have all ready been granted the trademark. This means that you have all ready filed and received approval to use the mark.
2. Understand the legal significance of ™ & ®
You have a great logo and brand but you don’t want to really use the ™ or ®. Maybe it is distracting from the look of your logo or maybe you have another reason? Either way, if you care enough about your brand, we urge you to really consider using these symbols. Here is why:
Why use ™
Brand infringement is serious business so it is wise to do anything you can to deter it. So although, you are not actually required to use ™ on your mark, it may be a good idea so that competitors are respectful of your intellectual property as the ™ signifies your “Common Law” trademark rights and your intent to file a trademark.
SEE ALSO: 6 Tips – Responding To Brand Theft
Why use ®
The ® symbol offers a stronger threat to brand infringers because this symbol signifies that this trademark is definitely taken – so don’t even think about copying it. The use of the ® symbol is not only important in your defense but also your offense. You must use the ® in order to claim any damages if a lawsuit does erupt.
3. Place the ™ & ® symbol correctly
Where you place the ™ or ® is not really an esthetic choice and there is actually a specific place that is considered correct. Although, you may have seen it all – underneath, on top, to the left, and to the right, the truth is there really is only one correct spot. So to clear things up, you should place the ™ or ® symbol to the right of your trademark.
So all in all, are you using ™ & ® correctly? Share with us any questions you may have.