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TM vs. ® Symbol: Understanding the Difference and Why it Matters for Your Brand

When it comes to trademarks, two symbols are commonly used: TM and ®. These symbols serve different purposes and carry different legal implications. Understanding the difference between these two symbols is essential for any business that wants to protect its brand identity.

The TM symbol stands for "trademark," and it is used to indicate that a word, phrase, or logo is being used as a trademark, even if the trademark application is still pending. It provides notice to the public that the owner is claiming trademark rights in the mark.

For instance, let's take an example of a clothing company that has come up with a unique name for its brand. The company starts using the name on its clothing and files a trademark application to register the mark. In this case, the company can use the TM symbol next to the name to provide notice to the public that it is claiming trademark rights in the name, even though the trademark application is still pending.

On the other hand, the ® symbol stands for "registered trademark." It is used to indicate that a trademark has been registered with the relevant trademark office. The ® symbol can only be used on registered trademarks.

Continuing with the clothing company example, if the company's trademark application is approved and the trademark is registered, it can then use the ® symbol next to the name to indicate that it is a registered trademark. Using the ® symbol provides stronger legal protection for the trademark and sends a clear message to competitors that the trademark is protected.

In conclusion, understanding the difference between the TM and ® symbols is crucial for any business that wants to protect its brand identity. The TM symbol can be used while the trademark application is pending, whereas the ® symbol can only be used on registered trademarks. By using these symbols correctly, businesses can protect their trademarks and build strong brand identities.


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