Not all government-issued intellectual property protections are created equal. Some expire long before others do. Specific safeguards protect creative works of art and authorship, while others protect reproducible inventions. Because there are so many fundamental differences between the primary kinds of government-issued intellectual property protections, it is important to speak with an experienced intellectual property attorney before applying for any of these safeguards. Each application/registration process is uniquely complex and time-consuming in its own way.
Trademarks safeguard words, phrases, graphics, symbols and other advertising devices designed to brand a company, its products and/or its services in ways that distinguish that brand from competitors. The trademark symbol (TM) is used to signal that a word, graphic, etc. is being claimed by a specific company as trademarked. However, it is important to understand that without a formally approved trademark registration, this claim remains largely unenforceable.