The five “biggest” (their term, not mine) trademark offices in the world have got together to form the TM5, an international framework for…creating silly icons. As a display of their collective might and unparalleled joint capabilities, the TM5 has created and adopted a set of “Common Status Descriptors,” a uniform set of icons to visually depict the trademark application process. Because actual words like Registered, Awaiting Examination and Expired were just too difficult for trademark practitioners to understand…

In addition to the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the other members of the TM5 are the trademark offices of Japan, Korea, China and the EU.

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The USPTO has already begun using the new icons. Here’s an example in practice on the USPTO website:

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Without a green circled ribbon, how did we ever ascertain that a trademark was registered? Go TM5!