Trademark marking basically refers to the use of symbols such as the ® or ™ symbol to identify a word, slogan or design as a trademark. Trademark rights and laws vary from country to country. Therefore before asserting trademark rights or using trademark marks in a new country you should confirm that you can legally do so.
Why Mark Your Trademark
- It provides notice of your claim to own the mark;
- It distinguishes the mark from the surrounding text, making it clearer that you are claiming it as a trademark;
- Failure to use a registration or trademark notice may limit the remedies available in a legal action;
The Canadian Situation
Canada’s Trademarks Act does not include any marking requirements. As a result, there are no rules in Canada with respect to use of the ® symbol, the ™ (trade-mark), the * SM (service mark) or the * MC (marque de commerce). However a Canadian who is exporting either wares or services into the U.S. should be cautious in the use of the ® symbol.
The U.S. Situation
You cannot use the ® symbol unless the mark has been federally registered with the USPTO. The symbol “™” for “trademark” can be used to indicate that, even though a mark isn’t registered, the owner is nevertheless claiming trademark rights in it.