Not everyone understands what the little registration symbol ® means when they see it or when it is acceptable or legal to use it. Use of the registration symbols are controlled by the federal government which means using it if you are not legally entitled to do so can get a company or individual in some not so pleasant legal trouble with the federal government.
It can end up costing the offender a rather large sum of money in penalties when they decide to eventually register their trademark or should they try to defend themselves against any potential violators or infringers.
So what does that registration symbol mean when it is with someone’s Trademark? To put it in simple terms, it means that trademark has been officially registered with the United States Patent and Trademark office (USPTO).
The ® is one of three generally used trademark symbols used, but the R within the circle is the only one that specifically means that trademark has been registered with the federal patent/trademark office. The other two trademark symbols commonly used are the SM or the TM symbols.
There isn’t an actual requirement to use SM or TM and neither symbol has no real legal significance, these symbols just notify the public of a claim over branding rights on a particular trademark. It is wise to use them because they can discourage others from using the trademark on same or similar goods, services or products. It can prevent any unintentional trademark transgressions in the future. This type of trademark infringement can disrupt the free trade of services and goods in the marketplace if not averted beforehand. Feel free to contact intellectual property lawyer for more advice
In other words Jake has a registered trademark for his company’s logo, but he didn’t place the ® symbol on it, along comes Joe, he sees the logo and decides it would be perfect for his new company, there is no registration symbol so he starts to use it. Jake sees his trademark being used by Joe.
Unfortunately because Jake didn’t use the registration symbol he has discovered filing charges of infringement is almost impossible because there is now way to prove without any doubt that Joe infringed on Jake’s trademark before it was in fact registered.