Why Your Business Should be Using this Symbol: ®

20 Sep


A business’ federal registration of its trademark or service mark provides it with a number of advantages.  One of those advantages is the business’ ability to use the registered trademark symbol, ®, for those trademarks and service marks that have federal registration.  This right to use the registered trademark symbol is important to a small or medium business owner because the registered trademark symbol provides notice to consumers and other businesses, large or small, of the business’ claim of ownership of the trademark and may deter others from using the mark or attempting to pass their goods or services off as yours.     

A trademark is one of a business’ most important assets because it is the business’ identifier to consumers and other businesses and often serves as a signal to consumers about the quality of the goods and services.  If used consistently, a trademark may lead to brand recognition.  Businesses often spend substantial time and money developing their trademark or service marks.  Federal registration of the marks is a way for a business to protect this investment.  When a business registers its trademark, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office will refuse registration to any confusingly similar mark and the mark will also appear during trademark searches when other businesses are deciding whether to use or register a mark.  Accordingly, federal registration may preempt another business’ infringement of the mark.   

This blog entry is written by Natalie Walz, an associate at Thomsen Nybeck. Natalie practices in the transactional and litigation groups of the firm and concentrates her practice in the areas of Trademark & Brand Management, Copyright Protection, Real Estate Litigation, Townhome & Condominium Law, and Construction Litigation.


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