In honor of National Small Business Week [May 5-11], Mara Trumbour, Executive Product Owner, of Trademark.com - an all-in-one trademark research, registration, and watch tool for SMB owners - is breaking down what is trademark fact vs. fiction:

• If I own the website domain name, I automatically own the trademark - FICTION. Securing a website address does not protect your business - you’ll need to register your trademark then continue to monitor it.
• The symbols ™ and ® are not interchangeable - FACT. The ™ symbol should be used while a trademark registration application is pending, or if you have established common law rights. The ® symbol can be used once your trademark is federally registered.
• Once I register, the Trademark Office (USPTO) will make sure my trademark isn’t violated - FICTION. Once you own the rights to a trademark, you’re responsible for enforcement. It's imperative to police your mark as you only have 30 days to oppose copycats.