registered trademark insignia

Richard Schifreen rschifre at
Tue Nov 22 13:14:44 EST 1994

The granting of trademarks, like patents is to serve the best interests 
of the public.  Trademarks allow the consumer to be able to identify 
companies, products and services (service mark).  Imagine the confusion 
if anyone could use any name, why not use the same name as someone who is 
already successful?  Of course, a trademark also has value to its owner 
as a brand or product gains favorable recognition in the market.

The law regarding trademarks is complex and I am not an expert (if you 
have a question with monetary or legal implications - contact a lawyer 
who is expert in this field).  If you want to claim a trademark you 
initially begin to use it with the (TM) designation.  This lets others 
know that you intend it to be a trademark, but does not guarantee that 
someone else hasn't already beaten you and claimed the mark or that the 
Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) will grant your application.  If the 
PTO does grant your application, then you use the (Circle R) designation.

If the owner of the mark does not use and identify it properly, they risk 
losing it.  Hence companies who rely on them tend to be careful and try 
to use the (TM) and (circle R) properly.  While there will be no dire 
consequences if you use the wrong one in a reference, the easiest thing 
to do is simply copy whatever the owner of the mark is using in your 
source material.

Rich Schifreen
DISCALIMER - I am not an attorney or expert in this area.  Please consult 
someone who is if you need advice with legal or monetary implications.

On Wed, 16 Nov 1994, Paul N Hengen wrote:

> I was writing a paper that included the brand names of some materials and
> couldn't figure out what the difference between trademark [TM] and registered
> trademark [circled R] is. Please tell me. What happens if I use the wrong one
> in a publication?
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> * Paul N. Hengen, Ph.D.                           /--------------------------/*
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