What are the consequences of using the Registered Trademark symbol ® if the words or design is not in fact registered. There are very serious consequences set forth in Federal law on the subject. The Trademark-Sentinel's Bruno Tarabichi wrote an excellent summary on the subject on December 20, 2010. Here is a brief excerpt:
A deliberate improper use of the registration symbol could consitute fraud, as Section 906.02 of the Trademark Manual of Examining Procedure states
Improper use of a federal registration symbol that is deliberate and intended to deceive or mislead the public is fraud. However, misunderstandings about use of federal registration symbols are more frequent than occurrences of actual fraudulent intent.
A compilation website that is called Structured Settlement Faqs [structuredsettlementfaqs.com], is using the registered trademark symbol all over the Internet even though a trademark search today on the website of the United States Patent and Trademark Office shows
- No Registered Trademark Live or Dead for "structured settlement faqs"
- No Application for a Trademark for "structured settlement faqs"
- Download USPTO Trademark Search for Structured Settlement Faqs Query 7-24-2012
It's worthwhile noting that the USPTO search function contains the following in bold letters
WARNING: AFTER SEARCHING THE USPTO DATABASE, EVEN IF YOU THINK THE RESULTS ARE "O.K.," DO NOT ASSUME THAT YOUR MARK CAN BE REGISTERED AT THE USPTO. AFTER YOU FILE AN APPLICATION, THE USPTO MUST DO ITS OWN SEARCH AND OTHER REVIEW, AND MIGHT REFUSE TO REGISTER YOUR
It is doubtful that the USPTO would permit a registered trademark for such a generic term.
Other comments concerning structuredsettlementfaqs.com
- Domain is registered using privacy serviceDownload StructuredSettlementFaqs Whois record private 7=24=2012
- Company lists no other address than a P.O. Box in Southampton New York, yet seeks advertisers.
- Our September 9, 2011 post on the same subject. I also sent Sarah Lawson a letter asking for proof of the registration. No response was received by us, no correction was made to the website and no filing made with the USPTO. Nevertheless additional postings appeared on the website in June and July 2012. I repeated that request today Download Http___structuredsettlementfaqs message sent 7-24-2012