Jul 31, 2015

Copyright © vs. Registered ® vs. Trademark ™

A Copyright protects original creative works such as books, movies, songs, paintings, photographs, TV shows, web content, and choreography.

Registered may only be used after the US Government grants a Federal registration certificate. The ® symbol may not be used while the Federal application is pending.

A Trademark protects names, terms and symbols that are used to identify the source of goods and/or services on the market. Trademarks include brand names such as "Coca-Cola" and images such as Nike's famous "swoosh" and taglines such as "just do it." Your business can use the ™ symbol whenever it wishes to claim a trademark. You do not need to file any paperwork to receive permission to use the ™ symbol. Use of the ™ symbol can put your competition on notice that your business considers a mark to be your trademark.