In this fourth and final post on naming, it’s time to cover the symbols. What do they mean and when can you use them? Only the ™ and the ® have relevance to business name defense. The copyright would apply if you had made original art for your logo or brand that you didn’t want anyone else selling as art. So, here we go!
™ The Trademark symbol. This is a symbol that is free to use if you have a mark worth using (see previous three posts). You don’t have to register anything to use it legally. It is a non binding signifier that your mark should not be copied. If you know your name is original and unique and you have a custom drawn logotype or word mark than you should put this mark next to your logo. You can set this mark in most fonts by holding option(alt on pc) and hitting the number 2 on your keyboard.
® The Registered Trademark symbol. This is a symbol that you are only legally allowed to use if you have gone through the trademarking process with the USPTO and been awarded your trademark. If you can use it, you should. This character is set by holding option (alt on pc) and hitting the letter r.
© The Copyright symbol. This little guy has (almost) nothing to do with what we have been talking about, but I decided to include it even though it probably needs its own post. This is used for artwork and music and anything where you make copies. Every artist owns the copyright to any original work they put out the moment they get the art out of their head and make the first “copy.” It is smart to document your art when you make it. Timestamp it somehow. There is the legend of bands who used to record a song and then mail a tape and the lyrics to themselves and not open it so they had an official piece of evidence with a date on it. Now, you just publish your songs online and that date stamps it. A copyright isn’t something you have to go through a process for, you just need to document the copies so you can prove you were the first to make an artwork, if it ever comes to that. You can set this character by holding option (alt on pc) g. This is why the new media model is put out more, faster, and don't let it sit on your hard drive. Publish it!
That's about all I have on that. I hope you have found this series on naming helpful, if you know someone creating a new product or service, share these with them as they will find them extremely helpful. I wish I would have know about all this 20 years ago when I started my first business.
Peace and Love and Happy Building!