As an entrepreneur or small business owner, it’s important to understand when and how to use trademark and copyright symbols. These symbols indicate that a word, phrase, or image is protected by law, and they help to deter others from using your protected material without permission. But where do these symbols go? Read on to find out.
The Trademark Symbol
The trademark symbol (™) can be used with any unregistered mark—that is, a mark that isn’t registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). You can use the ™ symbol on any goods or services that you offer, whether they’re in use or not. For example, if you’ve coined a new phrase but haven’t yet applied for a trademark registration, you can put the ™ next to the phrase to indicate that it’s your unregistered mark. This should be distinguished from the federal registration symbol “®” which is only to be used once your mark is registered with the USPTO.
The ™ or ® should be used next to the brand name, the logo or the slogan.
The Copyright Symbol
The copyright symbol (©) is used to protect original creative works of authorship. This includes things like books, articles, music, artwork, and software code. You can use the © symbol on any creative work that you’ve created—you don’t need to register your work with the US Copyright Office to use the © symbol. However, registering your copyright does serve as prima facie evidence of copyright ownership if your work is ever infringed upon.
On your works you should state “© 2022 by XYZ Corp. All Rights Reserved.”
Understanding how to protect your intellectual property as an entrepreneur or small business owner is key. If you aren’t sure how to properly use the symbols that are designed to safeguard your work and deter others from infringing on your brand, please contact us. We’ll help you create a plan that offers the peace of mind and protection that you are looking for. To get started, call (888) 666-0062 or click here to schedule an Initial Discovery Session online.
DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this article is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice or a substitute for obtaining legal advice from an attorney.