TM or R? (When to use)

Subject: TM or R? (When to use)
From: "Hart, Geoff" <Geoff-H -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA>
To: "Techwr-L (E-mail)" <TECHWR-L -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>, "'Tom Murrell'" <trmurrell -at- yahoo -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 6 Sep 2000 11:10:45 -0400

Tom Murrell, responding to Barbara's question about when to use R
(registered trademark), observed: <<I did some research on a different topic
recently when I ran across the explanation of the difference between (R) and
TM. If a patent has been approved, it is registered; use the (R). If a
patent has been applied for or will be applied for but is not yet approved,
use TM.>>

Basically correct, except replace the word "patent" with "trademark". Two
different things entirely. You do not have to register your trademark, but
the advantages of doing so are even greater than the advantages of
registering copyrights: it's theoretically possible that you could use an
unregistered TM for a year or so, then lose the right to continue using it
if someone else formally registers that name, though the longer you use the
TM, the less likely the other party would win. It's also much easier to
prove trademark infringement if you've registered your mark. (These
statements are based on the most recent information published by the
Canadian Intellectual Property Office, which generally follows and thus
should reflect international convention on these issues.)

I've read (but not confirmed) that using (R) before your trademark has been
formally awarded by your local trademark authority can prejudice them
against you, and may even lose you the right to use the trademark.
Confirmation or denial of this point welcome!

--Geoff Hart, FERIC, Pointe-Claire, Quebec
geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca

Fictionary (fik' shun air ee) n. The word reference that engineers and
software developers use when they write documentation.--Kay Robart

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