A trademark protects “words, names, symbols, sounds or colors that distinguish goods and services”
There are 2 types of trademarks
1) Registered Trademark which is denoted by the ® symbol
2) Unregistered Trademark which is denoted by the ™ symbol
Both types of trademarks are protected from other infringing upon them, however there is a different. A 'Registered' trademarks allow you to sue in federal court, obtain registration in foreign countries and file the mark with the US Customs Office. An 'Unregistered' trademarks are protected by law, but to prevail in court, you have to prove that you were the first to use the mark.
It is pretty simple to obtain a trademark, which can be done by searching the Trademark Electronic Search System and filling out an application which can be done online at www.uspto.gov. The filing fee costs between $275 and $375 and can take up to 12 weeks to process.