Proper Trademark Usage

In order to protect a registered trademark, one needs to employ a proper statutory notice with it to tell the world that the mark has been federally registered. To do this, it is suggested that the mark be referred to in the following manner:

FOOT TOWN® shoe stores

The mark (here, "FOOT TOWN") should always appear in capital letters, bold letters, or fanciful print. The generic description of the goods to the right of the trademark (here, "shoe stores") can be located below it and should appear in less conspicuous type (either upper or lower case). Any general description can be used, but it is best to keep the description generic such as the suggestion given above.

The above-listed trademark form is a proper trademark usage and should appear the first time the trademark is used in each piece of literature (e.g., signage or advertising). For any subsequent appearance of the mark in that piece, the mark can be used by itself with the "®" symbol. No listing of the goods is necessary.

Use of the "®" symbol is proper for federally registered marks only (for information on federally registering a trademark, consult a trademark lawyer). Unregistered trademarks, or state registered marks, can employ a "TM" notice after the mark, which provides notice that the particular words/symbols are considered to be a valuable trademark.

For more information, contact the trademark lawyers at Holland & Bonzagni.