A Brief Guide to Using Trade Mark Symbols Correctly
If you've spent time on our website, you may have noticed that our logo contains the registered trade mark symbol behind the domain name MegaDox.com: ®. And if you are the inquisitive sort, you may have asked yourself what that means.
The ® symbol indicates a registered trade mark. You can only use this mark after your trademark has been registered with a governmental authority, such as the United States Patent and Trademark Office or CIPO, the Canadian Intellectual Property Office.
You can use the ™ (trade mark) symbol at any time before your trade mark is registered to establish your ownership of the design, slogan, etc. Attaching that ™ symbol to the material is a means of protecting your rights to the intellectual property in the interim while the trademark registration is in progress, which can be a lengthy process.
Trade marks generally apply to goods. If you're selling services instead of products, you can use the SM symbol, which stands for "service mark". But you can use the ® symbol in relation to either one once it's registered, provided, however, that you only use it in connection with the goods or services that were listed in your trademark application.
A trademark registration is only enforceable in the country or countries in which it is filed, unless you have applied for an international registration from the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization).