TM versus Registered/R Mark/Registered Trademark, which is Right for My Trademark?
There is a fine line or difference between Trademark and Registered Trademark and you need to understand the same to apply it in your work. Where you can use only trademarks for some of your work and business, for other ones you need to obtain a Registered Trademark. But you can use it according to your wish, there are rules pertaining to the use of TM and R. It is the government rules regarding the use of the same that you need to follow and you need to understand the restrictions and the rules properly, so that you don’t end up misusing the same.
The use of TM or (TM) is easy as you need not to register your goods or services but you can claim rights on your products and services by using Trademark. The use of trademarks which are unregistered is not that much protective about your services and the products if you compare them with the registered ones but it can be beneficial when you are using or doing business within a specific location. It is useful when it comes to providing some legal protection or rights within a specific geographical location. But the drawback of the same is that there can be many such companies or entities which are within the country using the same TM.
R: Registered Trademark
Though the registration of the trademark is not a necessary thing to do but if you want full protection for your rights of the trademark you use, then registering it is the best idea. It provides the legal right to use your trademark completely and also provides the tag of ownership of the trademark to you.
The ® symbol can only be used when the trademark is registered with the trademark office in India and if any establishment is found to be using the symbol, owner of the establishment is punishable according to the law. The punishment can be in the form of payment of a fine or the guilty might also be put behind the bar.
The process of registering a trademark normally takes up to 8 years in India and it can be even more in some cases. So, when you have applied for the registered trademark, you are not allowed to use the symbol ® immediately but you can continue using the TM symbol if you have the trademark right of the product or the services. Only after the acceptance of the registered trademark application, the use of ® is permitted.
How to use a Trademark Symbol?
If you don’t have your trademark registered, then it is always beneficial to place the Trademark notice along with all the trademark of the products and services you provide. The use of the trademark notice can be an assurance about the fact that it is clearly visible to the competitors that your brand is under process of Trademark Registration & they won’t come up with the similar thing. It protects you against the infringement of the trademark.
For the online products and the services, you can get your trademark notice affixed and for the physical goods and services, the notice can be placed along with the packages. For the services you provide, you can place the trademark on any kind of signs, advertising material or promotional items etc. It can be used on the letterhead and other material.
Note: The use of Trademark or Registered trademark must be done after proper understanding of both. It provides your right to use and claim your own intellectual property and protects against any other person infringing it.