The Difference between Trademark™, Registered®, and Copyright©


By: Drew Germyn

Categories: Guides

One of our goals at Localnode is to provide useful content to our first class hosting clients. One thing we’ve noticed is that our clients are sometimes unsure about how to label their names and content on their website. Should their intellectual property be listed as a Trademark™, Registered®, or Copyrighted©?

What is a Trademark™?

A trademark is a symbol, word, or series of words that have been established as being representative of a company, brand, or product. The word “trademark” indicates that the organisation that owns the trademark has applied to register it with the appropriate agency. For example in the United States, trademarks must be registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, or USPTO. The ™ symbol should be used for any intellectual property that fits one of two categories:

  1. It has not yet been registered yet; or
  2. The registration has been filed but is not yet official.

If you’re in the UK, you can find the information you need to file a trademark on this site. In the European Union, click here; and in Australia, you can register your trademark by clicking here.

The ™ lets people know that you are claiming the rights and use of the trademarked symbol or words for yourself. It is not proof of ownership. For that, you must prove that you were the first to use the trademark and that use of it by anybody else would materially harm you.

What Does Registered® Mean?

Once your application for a Trademark has officially been approved, you may use the Registered® symbol. The ® symbol is proof that you have registered your Trademark with the USPTO, the UK government, the EUIPO, or IP Australia. It makes it possible for you to:

  • Use your Trademark freely without fear of it being easily co-opted by someone else
  • Seek damages against anyone who uses your Trademark without permission
  • Prevent imitators from bothering you with copycat products

In other words, being able to list your symbol or words as Registered® establishes you as the owner of a Trademark and protects you against being harmed if somebody else uses your Trademark without permission. An example is our High Grade SuperMicro® Hardware, which is one example of our superior hardware, superior software, and superior network.

What is a Copyright?

A Copyright© is something that attaches itself to content you create immediately, as soon as the intellectual property exists. However, there is a process to register your copyright with the Library of Congress if you’re in the United States. In the UK and Australia, there is no need to register your copyright – you’ll have protection automatically. You can find information here about how to register your copyright in the EU.

If you choose, you may use a copyright service to register your copyright. Some examples include The Trademark Company, LegalZoom, and WIPO.

The benefit of registering your copyright is that it establishes your ownership of the IP and makes it possible for you to sue anyone who uses it without your permission for copyright infringement.


Protecting your intellectual property with a Trademark™, Registered®, or Copyright© lets others know that your take your IP seriously and will protect your ownership of it legally.

To learn about Localnode’s first class hosting services, which can provide you with the perfect platform for your protected IP, please click here.