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Tips for using a trademark properly and consistently

If you have trademarked material, you want to be sure that you use it effectively and properly. Failure to do so could lead to confusion, misuse or even loss of protection.

Two of the most important elements of using your trademark are consistency and accuracy.

Consistency in trademarks

When you or anyone else refers to your product in publications, for instance, you must ensure the references are consistent. To do this, you make sure you :

  • Always identify trademarked work as such
  • Include a generic noun after the brand name
  • Use italics, capitalization and bolding consistently to separate the trademark from other content
  • Do not abbreviate or otherwise alter the trademarked material

When the use of your trademark is consistent, it can be easier to keep it distinctive and protect its exclusive status.

Accuracy in trademarks

To ensure you use your trademarks accurately, consider the following tips:

  • Use either the ™ or ® symbol after the name, depending on whether the trademark is registered
  • Avoid using a trademarked name as an adjective
  • Ensure you have trademark status before calling your product out as protected
  • Review all printed materials carefully to ensure trademarked names are correctly identified

Using your trademark accurately strengthens its identification and makes it easier to track use.

If you do not prioritize the proper use of your trademark, it is possible that you could lose trademark rights. This could happen if you do not use your mark effectively, or if you do not use it at all.

It is also vital to regularly monitor use of your trademark. Whether you do this yourself or you hire a company to do it for you, monitoring use can identify inaccurate use or unauthorized use. Catching these problems before they diminish the value of your trademark or your rights can help you avoid costly remedies that could become necessary when someone misuses your trademark.


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Minnesota Office

4800 IDS Center

80 South 8th Street

Minneapolis, MN 55402

Phone: 612-361-0309

Montana Office

2066 Stadium Drive

Ste. 101

Bozeman, MT 59715

Phone: 406-851-9836


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