One of the easiest ways to protect your brand is to Trademark it. Keeping that in mind, it is unlawful to use the Registered (®) symbol, if not actually registered first.
Now, what does it mean? It means that if you’re undergoing the process of a trademark registration, you may use the Trademark (™) symbol but not the ® unless you’re looking for serious repercussions. These repercussions can be brought upon by a customer or competitor bringing suit for fraud, unfair competition, false advertising, or some other state tort involving deception.
Another issue that may arise can be the rejection of your mark’s registration – deemed a form of “unclean hands”. Needless to say, it can also lead other marketplace participants to oppose your registration of the mark.
With all that said, one may not have a case against another trademark user who did not register it first if it was used simply out of ignorance (meaning, to look cool but didn’t know the rules). It is therefore important to sit down with an attorney to consider whether the other party has used the trademark notice fraudulently before challenging it because going down that road can be costly.
If any of this resonates with you or anyone you know, EPGD Business Law is here to help. We can easily be contacted by email or phone. firstname.lastname@example.org / (786) 837-6787
*Disclaimer: This blog post is not intended to be legal advise. We highly recommend speaking to an attorney if you have any legal concerns. Contacting us through our website does not establish an attorney-client relationship.*