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Division of Securities & Retail Franchising


FAQs - Trademarks, Service Marks

1. How do I protect my company logo?

2. What is the purpose of registering a trademark or service mark?

3. What is the difference between the registrations of a mark at the state level versus national registration?

4. How can I obtain assistance in completing the trademark/service mark application?

5. What happens if the registration of my trademark or service mark expires?

6. Are there state regulations governing the use of the designations “TM” or “SM” with respect to trademarks and service marks?

7. How can I view the required Trademark and Service Mark Forms?

8. Where can I view the Virginia Trademark and Service Mark Act and the related rules?

9. What is the form necessary for renewing the registration of a trademark or service mark?

10. Can I fax in my trademark or service mark application?

11. What is the symbol (the letter R enclosed with a circle) as it concerns trademarks?

 

 

 

 

 

1. How do I protect my company logo?

A. You may register your logo with us as either a trademark or service mark, if the mark is in use in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

  • A trademark is any word, name, symbol, or device or any combination thereof, used by a person to identify and distinguish the goods (products) manufactured or sold by such person from those manufactured or sold by others.
  • A service mark is any word, name, symbol, or device or any combination thereof used by a person to identify and distinguish the services provided by such person from the services of others.
  • The non-refundable registration fee is $30.00 per class (one mark in two classes is $60). Registration is valid only within the Commonwealth of Virginia for the duration of five years and may be renewed in five year increments.

2. What is the purpose of registering a trademark or service mark?

A. The registration of a trademark or service mark is voluntary and, therefore, not required by Virginia law. Although not mandatory, the registration of a trademark or service mark affords the owner some protection because it creates a presumption of ownership and exclusive right to use.

3. What is the difference between the registrations of a mark at the state level versus national registration?

A. Marks under the Virginia Trademark and Service Mark Act are valid only within the boundaries of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Marks registered at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) are protected in all 50 states including Virginia. Information on the registration of a mark at the national level can be obtained by contacting the United States Patent and Trademark Office at 800-786-9199 or by visiting the website.External Link logo

4. How can I obtain assistance in completing the trademark/service mark application?

A. The Division of Securities can offer application guidance. We cannot tell you what specific information to put on the application. An instruction sheet is attached to the Application for Registration of a Trademark or Service Mark (Form TM 1).

5. What happens if the registration of my trademark or service mark expires?

A. You must submit a completed Form TM1 (Application for Registration of a Trademark or Service Mark (Form TM1) with the required documents and fees. You cannot submit an application for renewal of a registration of trademark or service mark that has expired.

6. Are there state regulations governing the use of the designations "TM" or "SM" with respect to trademarks and service marks?

A. No.

7. How can I view the required Trademark and Service Mark Forms?

A. You may view and print the required forms on the Division website by clicking on Forms under the Registration/Renewal Area on the left hand side of the Division web site page and then clicking on Trademark/Service Marks and the appropriate form.

8. Where can I view the Virginia Trademark and Service Mark Act and the related rules?

A. You may view the law and related rules on the Division website page by clicking on Statutes/Regulations on the upper right hand side of the page. You then click on the trademark and service mark law (Trademark & Service Marks Act: Chapter 6.1) or trademark and service mark rules (Chapter 120: Virginia Trademark and Service Mark Act). The Division recommends reading the law and rules prior to submission of any documents and fees for registration or renewal of a registration of a trademark or service mark.

9. What is the form necessary for renewing the registration of a trademark or service mark?

A. The form for renewing a trademark or service mark currently registered is Form TM2. The completed Form TM2 should be submitted to the Division no earlier then 6 months prior to the expiration of the registration. Please view the rules regarding renewal of a trademark or service mark registration prior to submission of any documents and fees.

10. Can I fax in my trademark or service mark application?

A. No.

11. What is the symbol (the letter R enclosed with a circle) as it concerns trademarks?

A. This symbol is a federal registration symbol that may be used once the mark is actually registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.