10 rules for trademarks….
1. Use the ® only for trademarks registered with the U.S. Trademark Office
(or foreign trademark authorities) – a federal registration gives you
presumptive national rights.
2. Use the ™ for any brand or mark that is unregistered.
3. You do not need to use a trademark symbol with every use of the term in
print. However, it is highly recommended to use at least once prominently
on public materials/packaging/websites or any time when used as a
product brand (think the COCA-COLA label).
4. There is no legal obligation to use either trademark symbol – but they put
the world on notice of trademark rights (and non-use of ® can bar federal
trademark damage claims).
5. A mark is typically presented as follows when used as a brand - COCA-
COLA® (for ex., on packaging or in prominent form on website). Non-
brand references, such as to related company names, can be as follows:
The Coca-Cola Company.
6. A trademark is an adjective – a descriptor – not a noun or verb (though
consumers disregard). Say: SNICKERS® brand candy bar is one of our
best sellers. Not: SNICKERS are our best seller.
7. Trademarks are property through actual use with goods and services.
They’re not like domain names that you register and stockpile. Generally
speaking, no use = no trademark rights.
8. Trademark rights can last perpetually if used perpetually (assuming proper
use) – unlike patents and copyrights.
9. Trademark rights (like patents and copyright) are specific to regions or
countries in which they are used. A trademark in the U.S. may not be a
valid trademark in another country until you use and/or register it there.
10. Keep control of your trademarks. Use them properly and only let others
use them with your permission (e.g., by license).
ERNEST W. GRUMBLES