Trademark symbols, what’s the point?

“If you claim rights to use a mark, you may use the “TM” (trademark) or “SM” (service mark) designation to alert the public to your claim of ownership of the mark, regardless of whether you have filed an application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). However, you may only use the federal registration symbol “®” after the USPTO actually registers a mark, and not while an application is pending.”

Quoted from the USPTO website.

If anyone can use TM, isn’t it just adding clutter, as Starbucks have done?

Starbucks website screenshotStarbucks website screenshot

Even when the ‘R’ symbol is used (shown below on the Adidas and McDonald’s websites), it looks more like a few stray pixels, a slip of the designer’s hand.

Adidas website screenshotAdidas website screenshot

McDonald's website screenshotMcDonald’s website screenshot

And when companies such as Nike, Mercedes-Benz, and Coca-Cola leave their main online logos free from this embellishment, is there really any point?

Nike website screenshotNike website screenshot

Mercedes-Benz website screenshotMercedes-Benz website screenshot

Coca-Cola website screenshotCoca-Cola website screenshot

Just something I’ve been wondering.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *