A symbol or phrase that is recognizable as belonging to a specific brand, like the Golden Arches belong to McDonald’s. You have to research and register for one, and it can be very expensive— but also very valuable should others try to enter your same market with a similar brand or idea. While your trademark is pending, you can use the ™ symbol next to your idea. Once that registration is approved and finalized, you can start using the ® mark. (See also: Registration)

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