Maybe you have never noticed them, or maybe you have always wondered what the ‘TM’ and ‘®’ marks mean. If you have never noticed them before, grab the nearest advertisement or food packaging and look at it carefully. Close to the name of the company whose advertisement or product you are holding, there is probably either a ‘TM’ or a ‘®.’ Both of these marks are used to indicate that a trademark has been used. The difference between the two markings is that ‘TM’ can be used with any mark that the owners wishes to claim as a trademark while ‘®’ is reserved only for use with marks that are registered as trademarks with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. If you own a trademark, or wish to create one, make sure you mark it properly every time you use it.
Kelly G. Swartz is a trademark attorney practicing in Melbourne, Florida.