TM vs Registered Trademark
TM and registered trademark are familiar symbols you may have noticed on some products. They are used by companies to signify that certain products are theirs or are uniquely provided by them. They do, however, have some differences, legal differences mostly.
TM or trademark is denoted by the symbol ™. It is present on products to basically say that this product is owned and uniquely provided by the company. It is also used to distinguish a company from its competitors. But what if another company provides the same product or service and, let’s say, uses nearly identical symbols to that of your company? Will you be protected under the law?
The answer is not really. Although you can sue the other company, you are only protected within the geographical location where you are using your trademark or where you will be reasonably expanding. That is the reason why you need to have a registered trademarked, symbolized by ®. Once you have registered your trademark, you enjoy legal benefits like exclusive rights for that trademark. This helps in preventing unauthorized usage of products or services that are identical to yours.
While the purpose of a trademark and a registered trademark is the same, you will enjoy legal benefits if you own a registered trademark. As well as you can charge whoever wants to use your registered trademarks with a royalty. It is not necessary to register trademarks though. To register trademarks, one has to apply at the United States Patent and Trademark Office, or its foreign equivalent. A registered trademark, however, would need renewal after a number of years. Aside from exclusivity and legal protection, trademarks and registered trademarks are essentially the same.
So remember, if you do plan to make a brand or a product and you want to be legally protected from unauthorized use of your brand image or use, have it registered.
• Trademarks and registered trademarks work the same way: to signify that a certain product, image or logo, is owned by this company. However, trademarks do not offer complete legal protection in its unauthorized use.
• It is not necessary to register a trademark; however you enjoy legal benefits if you do. If you do register it, it needs renewal after a number of years.