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The Law Office of Joan I. Norek

        Intellectual Property

            Chicago, Illinois

                                                    w w w . n o r e k l a w . c o m



About Pages

Who Protects Copyrights
Copyright Registrations
Disclosure Documents
Domain Names
Idea Theft
Idea Theft Avoidance
Intellectual Property
IP Symbols
Inventors and Assignees
Names as Trademarks
Naming and Branding
Patent Applications
Meaningful Patent Protection
Patent Infringement
Patent Interferences
Patent Marking
Patent Reexaminations
Patent Term
Patent vs Trade Secret
Patents vs Trademarks
Patenting Business Strategies
Provisional Applications
Provisional vs Non-provisional
Public Domain vs Patents
More on Trademarks
Trademark Infringement
Trademark Cancellations
Trademark Oppositions
Trademark Registrations
Trademark Registration Process
Work For Hire


Special Interest Entries

Patent Services
Chemical Patents
Chicago Patent Attorney
Patent Searches
Patent Applications
Chicago Trademark Attorney
Trademark Searches
Trademark Registrations
Trademark Oppositions
Patent Provisionals
PatentAttitude Provisionals
PatAtt Patent Searches
PatAtt TM Searches





IP Symbols

Quick list of intellectual property symbols, short-forms, etc.

Patent Pending:

  • means a patent application has been filed
  • the application can be a regular, non-provisional application, or a provisional application
  • does not mean a patent is certain to issue
  • is a warning that a patent might issue

The sign:

  • flags an unregistered trademark
  • usually superscripted or subscripted
  • expresses owner's belief and/or intention
  • (trademarks are brand names for products)

The SM sign:

  • flags an unregistered service mark
  • usually superscripted or subscripted
  • expresses owner's belief and/or intention
  • (service marks are brand names for services)

The symbol:

  • flags a federally registered trademark or service mark
  • cannot be used unless the mark is federally registered
  • indicates USPTO validation of mark
  • usually superscripted or subscripted
  • replaces either the TM or SM sign when the mark is registered


  • first element of copyright notice
  • word Copyright can be used instead
  • followed by year date of publication and owner's name
  • used whether or not work has a copyright registration
  • copyright notice not required, but highly recommended.

A warning - if you have a restaurant, you are selling a service, not a product (except carry-outs), so use the
SM sign until your brand name (usually the restaurant name) is federally registered.

other topics about patents, provisional vs nonprovisional,
about patent applications, about trademarks, trademark myths, about trademark registrations

more topics - trademark internet issues, domain names, hyperlinking, patent it or not, naming and branding

questions, inquiries - contact the firm (all contact modes) or call 312.419.8055

See Firm Profile for professional qualifications and experience.

or back to FAQS



The Law Office of Joan I. Norek
25 E. Washington Street, Suite 1400
Chicago, Illinois  60602
Tel.  312.419.8055   Fax 312.236.6686
Contact the Firm


Patents • Chemical Patents • Trademarks • Copyrights • Searches, Applications

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Copyright 2004 - 2014 Joan I. Norek, The Law Office of Joan I. Norek 
All rights reserved.
noreklaw, noreklaw.com and PatentAttitude are trademarks and service marks of Joan I. Norek, Chicago, Illinois.

Use of this website does not create an attorney-client relationship.  This website provides information and resources but is neither legal advice nor a substitute for the legal advice of an IP attorney.  Retentions are subject to the discretion of the firm.
This website was designed and constructed by Joan I. Norek.