Trademarks & Patents
Patent and Trademark Office FAQ:
What is a trademark?
A trademark includes any word, name,
symbol, or device, or any combination used, or intended
to be used, in commerce to identify and distinguish
the goods of one manufacturer or seller from goods manufactured
or sold by others, and to indicate the source of the
goods. In short, a trademark is a brand name.
What is the difference between TM
and the R within the circle ®?
Use of the TM and SM symbols may
be governed by local, state, or foreign laws and the
laws of a pertinent jurisdiction to identify the marks
that a party claims rights to. The federal registration
symbol, the R enclosed within a circle, may be used
once the mark is actually registered in the USPTO. Even
though an application is pending, the registration symbol
may not be used before the mark has actually become
The federal registration symbol
should only be used on goods or services that are the
subject of the federal trademark registration.
PLEASE NOTE: Several foreign countries
use the letter R enclosed within a circle to indicate
that a mark is registered in that country. Use of the
symbol by the holder of a foreign registration may be
What is a patent?
A patent for an invention is a grant
of property rights by the U.S. Government through the
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The patent grant excludes
others from making, using, or selling the invention
in the United States. A utility or plant patent in force
on June 8, 1995, is subject to either the 17 year term
from grant or the 20 year term from earliest effective
U.S. filing date, whichever is longer. A design patent
term is 14 years from patent grant. The right conferred
by the patent grant extends throughout the United States.
The terms "Patent Pending" and "Patent
Applied For" are used to inform the public that
an application for a patent has been filed. Patent protection
does not start until the actual grant of a patent. Marking
of an article as patented, when it is not, is illegal
and subject to penalty.
A patent cannot be obtained on a
mere idea or suggestion. Patent applications are examined
for both technical and legal merit. Prior to filing
a patent application, a search of existing patents can
be conducted at the USPTO Patent Search Room or at a
Patent and Trademark Depository Library in your area.
For additional information on patents, you may visit
the USPTO Web site at www.uspto.gov/main/patents.htm.
Little Pretty TM
Little Pretty Patents