TM & SM Fun!

No that is not what I mean - head out of the gutter please!  

Pop Quiz!  

Do you the difference between ™ - ® - ℠ ?  I know it can be a bit confusing, so today I'm giving you the legal down low (oh I like that - Legal Down Low™, I'm going to put my TM there right now) - and yep, I can do that as a sign to the world that I came up with it.  

First off, what the heck is a trademark?

Well - it is a designation of the source of goods or services (i.e., who made it or provides it).  It is a word, phrase, symbol, sound, or design (or combination) that distinguishes the goods/services of one party.  In the online world - people tend to trademark digital products and online courses - think B-School - which Marie Forleo has trademarked.  

But it doesn't necessarily have to be your business name, see below - Starbucks has also trademarked their logo.

So now for the specific designations.  The TM  means TradeMark is for GOODS.  Think Starbucks above - when you see that lady, you know the good you are getting is coffee. YUM.

SM on the other hand, means ServiceMark - and you guessed it - is for SERVICES. Think United Airlines - with flying being the service you are getting.  

These are designations for the world to see that the company owns this title, picture, logo, etc.  Registration with the US Government is optional, but there are some benefits: 

  • Notice of ownership
  • Presumption of validity and ownership of the trademark and exclusive right to use, jurisdiction of federal courts, and date of first use (filing date) as evidence of ownership
  • And this is when (AND ONLY WHEN) you can use the ® - which means its a registered mark.

There you have it - now you can definitely win at Trivia! 

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published