If you own a trademark (™), registered trademark (®) or service mark (℠), it’s important to understand when it’s appropriate to use on your website.
While it may seem like these symbols need to be used all the time in website writing, that’s not always the case. Let’s take a look into the correct usage of these symbols and where they should be included on your website.
A Brief Intro About Trademark Symbols
First of all, what’s the difference between a trademark, a registered trademark, and a service mark?
- A trademark symbol is used to represent products, like clothing, soft drinks or cars.
- The service trademark is for services, such as law firms or laundry mats.
- The registered trademark is used by businesses to inform the public and future trademark applicants that an image or mark they own (such as a logo) is a registered trademark.
The advantage of having one of these symbols is to protect your intellectual property, keep your competition from using your name or mark for their own business, and provide clarity to the marketplace about your identity of a product or service.
If you have one of these trademark symbols, it only needs to be used when you want to protect your trademark. As you probably guessed, your website is a place where you want to protect your trademark.
How Often to Include Them On Your Website
While every company will have its own standards of when to use their trademark symbol, typically you only need to use it the first instance it’s mentioned on a webpage. While it certainly won’t do any harm if you say it more than once, it’s not necessary.
Many businesses feel that they must use these symbols every time they use the name or mark on their website so they can protect their property. However, in all forms of writing, this is not how trademarks work. On top of that, overusing these symbols causes a distraction for readers and clutters your content.
In short, use it the first time it’s mentioned on a web page, blog post, or marketing material.
When to Not Use a Trademark Symbol on Your Website
It’s important to realize that there are restrictions of when you can’t use these symbols, including on your website.
- If your trademark is pending with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
- On any element of your brand that isn’t explicitly listed in the federal register.
- On anything that you haven’t legally trademarked.
Remember, the purpose of using a trademark symbol is to let both your customers and competitors know that you own a word, symbol, image, or device you use.
To learn more about using your trademark symbol on your website, get ahold of GreenMellen today! We’re not lawyers or experts on trademark law, but we are experts in website development and making sure that your brand is presented properly online.