What is the difference between a registered trademark and a trademark?
A registered trademark is one in which the owner has filed registration papers (and fees, samples, declarations, etc) with a state or federal agency, stating who owns the brand, what the brand is used for, and when it was first used for that. This permits others with ideas for similar brands or products to quickly find out who is already using what. If a trademark has a federal registration then you may see the optional circle-R mark on it "�". If it is a state registration, you will not see that �, but may see TM or sm (service mark) on the product or advertising.
A trademark owner who has not registered it may have a valid right to prevent others from using the trademark, but will have a more difficult time of proving ownership and that the others are violating his exclusive rights.
Conventionally, a trademark comprises a name, word, phrase, logo, symbol, design, image, or a combination of these elements. There is also a range of non-conventional trademarks comprising marks which do not fall into these standard categories, including distinctive colors and sounds. A similar notion of "trade dress" may apply to an entire operation, such as a golf-course layout, or the style of a restaurant chain.
The term trademark is also used informally to refer to any distinguishing attribute by which an individual is readily identified, particularly the well known characteristics of celebrities. Such trademarks can be a style of haircut (Elvis Presley's distinctive ducktail), articles of clothing or accessories (Liberace's flamboyant costumes and jewelry or Elton John's oversize sunglasses), facial hair (Groucho Marx's mustache), or even breast size (Dolly Parton and Pamela Anderson).
A mark registered with a U.S. state will be on file with the trademark registrar for that state. Federal Trademarks are registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. You can search the USPTO through their website, linked below. Note that this will only find registered trademarks. While protection is weaker if not registered, a party does not have to register a trademark.
A search of the Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) at the US Patent and Trademark Office website does not show a registered trademark for "Stickman Records" in the US. However there are two companies with that name, operating in Germany and Canada, and they may be registered as trademarks in their respective countries.
The symbol capital R within a circle [Â®], or circled capital letter R, is the registered trademark symbol. This indicates that the product is registered with a national trademark office (ex: Registered, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office). If a trademark is not officially registered, then it will be marked with a superscript TM (in capitals).
The Difference between TM and (R) PencilSharp's usual legal disclaimer: I am not a lawyer, nor do I play one online. Do NOT view this answer as a binding legal opinion! Okay, first thing you need to know is that there are two types of copyright (it's a closely related intellectual property issue, trust me). COPYRIGHT is what you get when you create something. It is innate in your creative act. Should your creation be…