When Am I Allowed to Put TM Next To My Brand?

At what point are you allowed to place the TM (™) symbol next to your brand?

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TRANSCRIPT

And the answer to that question is: anytime you please, anytime you want. You don’t have to ask anybody to put the ‘TM' next to your brand. Even if you never plan to register your trademark anywhere, you can still put ‘TM' next to it. What 'TM' means is, “an unregistered trademark, that you yourself think is a trademark”. So TM means, “you think it’s your brand,” you put TM next to it. And the great benefit of that is, most people don’t understand how that symbol works, what it means. So a lot of them would automatically assume that you’ve protected your brand, so put ‘TM' next to it. And then what you want to do is eventually convert that TM into an R in a circle, which is a registered trademark, but that’s going to be a topic of a different video. But again, TM means you think it is a trademark, don’t ask anyone’s permission, don’t wait—put it right there!

Oh, and by the way, what I also start noticing is that a lot of brand owners mistakenly put the C in a circle next to their brand, basically saying they own the copyright in that. Copyright is not designed to protect brands. Copyright is for protecting content—and we have a separate video for that, so watch that. But when you put the C in a circle, saying copyright, next to your brand, you’re sending a message to the market that you know nothing about intellectual property and that it’s easy to mess with you. Don’t do that! If you want to put something and you don’t have a registered trademark, put ‘TM'.


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