Copyright (C) vs. Trademark (TM)

Discussion in 'Name Your Business' started by jen, Mar 28, 2011.

  1. jen

    jen New Member


    I would like to know what the difference is between having a copyright symbol (C) and a trademark symbol (TM) next to your business name and/or tagline. And sometimes you see the (R) symbol instead. If I wanted to come up with an original tagline or branding piece for my company, which of these do I need to have? Also, how concerned should I be that my tagline sounds like another, more established, company's tagline? Could I be sued if, for instance, I took someone else's phrase and replaced a few of the words with my own?

  2. paralegal1

    paralegal1 New Member

    <P>Hello Jen,</P>
    <P>I have run your inquiry by Brian Hall, an attorney here at Traverse Legal who regurarly handles trademark and copyright matters. Here is his reponse:</P>
    <P> </P>
    <P><EM>First things first, the (c) means it is protected by copyright. Anyone claiming copyright protection can you use the (c) symbol. The TM symbol pertains to trademark protection, which is a different kind of intellectual property than copyright. Anyone claiming common law trademark protection can use the TM symbol. However, only the owner of a trademark registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) may use the registered (R) symbol. A gagline typically can protected by trademark.</EM></P>
    <P><EM></EM> </P>
    <P><EM>That said, you should be very careful about using a tagline that may subject you to claims of trademark infringement. Trademark infringement occurs when the use of a mark creates a likelihood of confusion with the mark of another. To determine whether or not your proposed tagline would infringe upon the more established company's tagline requires a detailed analysis of the approximately nine non-exhaustive factors that are part of a likelihood of confusion analysis - the two most important being similarity of the marks and similarity of the goods/services used in connection with the marks. You should consult with a trademark attorney before you proceed who can provide legal advice and guidance</EM><STRONG><EM>.</EM></STRONG></P>
    <P><STRONG><EM></EM></STRONG> </P>
    <P>Jen, I hope this information is helpful. </P>
    <P> </P>
    <P> </P>
    <P> </P>
  3. jumeira123

    jumeira123 New Member

    For any small business starter , it would be best to engage a business adviser to complete all the registration and licencing procedures without trouble.

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