Re: Circle R and TM

Subject: Re: Circle R and TM
From: K Watkins <KWATKINS -at- QUICKPEN -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 2 Nov 1995 09:48:00 -0300

>Circle R stands for "copyright" and TM stands for "trademark."

My understanding is:

Circle R stands for Registered trademark, TM for TradeMark, and Circle C for

Registering a trademark provides stronger legal protection against
infringement in some way, but I don't know the details. I also don't know
the name of the government office where one registers trademarks. But it
would be that office which could say which trademarks to use Circle R with.

Creating or registering a trademark is very different from getting a patent.
Registering a trademark protects your right to the _name_ of a product; a
patent governs rights to the product itself. We rarely have to concern
ourselves with patent issues in technical writing. A patent issue did arise
once for a product I was documenting, but the patent notice (which has no
special mark that I know of, but rather references a patent number) went
directly into the opening screen of the software, not in the docs.

Copyright is yet another kettle of fish. Theoretically, anything you write,
or at least publish (whatever constitutes writing and publishing these
days!) is already copyrighted, whether you mark it or not. But I'd hate to
rely on that in case of possible infringement.

These get to be complex legal issues, the more complex the further you get
into them. And I'm no lawyer. The above is mostly information I've had
around for so long that I no longer recall where I got it. Updates and
corrections welcome.

K Watkins
kwatkins -at- quickpen -dot- com
speaking for myself, not my employers

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