A quick post about the Circle R and TM symbols seen on products and marketing material around the world. What do they mean and what level of protection do they offer?
The TM symbol is widely used in an attempt to signal that trademark protection rights are applicable to the brand identifier that it is attached to. Anyone can attach the TM symbol to their brand identifiers but you do not gain the legal protections of federal trademark registration by simply attaching the TM symbol to your brand.
The Circle R symbol is the official symbol indicating that the brand identifier that it is attached to is a trademark that has been formally registered with the USPTO. This symbol can only be used after the USPTO examining attorney reviews your application, publishes the mark for opposition, and if there is no opposition, issues a registration certificate. The Circle R symbol means that the brand identifier has the full legal protections of a registered trademark.
Please feel free to Contact Alex if you have any questions about the post or about getting the trademark registration process started for your brand.