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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-09-2005, 07:52 PM Thread Starter
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Commercial Question

OK so you have seen how many products and companies carry some characters following the name of their brand.

What's the difference between a registered brand (circled R), a trademark (superscript TM) and a service mark (superscript SM)?

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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-09-2005, 08:16 PM
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the first two are from the U.S. Patent Office web site:

Trademark: A trademark includes any word, name, symbol, or device, or any combination, used, or intended to be used, in commerce to identify and distinguish the goods of one manufacturer or seller from goods manufactured or sold by others, and to indicate the source of the goods. In short, a trademark is a brand name.

Service Mark: A service mark is any word, name, symbol, device, or any combination, used, or intended to be used, in commerce, to identify and distinguish the services of one provider from services provided by others, and to indicate the source of the services.

Registered Brand: (took a bit of searching) this appears to be a registered trademark for a brand-name product. example: Xerox.

here's a web site that discusses all three: http://www.retailmerchandising.net/cbus/0400pti.asp
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-09-2005, 08:23 PM
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I work for an advertising agency and have had this come up before.

™ is usually used to indicate an unregistered trademark. It's basically what you use when there is a claim that a logo/brand is a trademark but it's not officially registered. Sometimes newer products will be labeled with ™ or new products of a brand that is registered with have ™ while the trademark is pending registration.

The ® s a warning notice to advise the public the trademark is registered and you can not use it without having the legal rights to. Use of a ® with any unregistered trademark could be considered fraud.

I'm not sure about the SM though.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-09-2005, 09:45 PM Thread Starter
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Excellent research. Thanks Tim.

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-09-2005, 11:08 PM
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also to adfran for explanation of practical application of governmentese definitions.
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