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Trademark Symbol - Everything You Need To Know About It

Last modified: Sep 29, 2022

A trademark is a symbol that identifies a product or service and distinguishes it from other producers. It can be a word, phrase, logo, design, sound, or even smell.

The purpose of the trademark symbol is to prevent confusion in the marketplace and enable customers to identify the source of products they are considering purchasing quickly. The use of trademarks is regulated by law, and trademark protection is granted to the first party to use the mark in connection with the sale of goods or services.

Trademark Symbols Meaning

We can see three different trademark symbols:

  • the trademark symbol (™),
  • the registered trademark symbol (®), and
  • the service mark symbol (℠).

The trademark symbol (™) is used with unregistered trademarks. Using the ™  with a  brand symbol or a logo indicates that you consider your trademark valid and protectable, even if it is not registered. However, it does not guarantee that trademark is protected by trademark laws.

A business or brand owners can use ™ with their brand assets when the application for the trademark is in the process or even when it is rejected.

The registered trademark symbol (®) can only be used with trademarks registered with the appropriate trademark office. In the United States, this is the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). This symbol indicates that the trademark is registered and that the trademark owner has all the rights and privileges that come with owning a registered trademark.

The "®" or r with the circle is a federally registered trademark with significant legal significance and is governed by law. Therefore, only brands federally registered with the USPTO may be labeled with the ®, and it can only be used to identify items and services listed in the registration.

To protect the brand assets from infringements, brands should make sure they use the ® symbol or R logo for their trademarked assets. If it's not used, the party who infringed on it might lawfully claim that they were unaware of its federal registration. The absence of the ® might work in their favor.


The service mark symbol (℠) - A service mark is a trademark used in connection with a service rather than a product. This symbol indicates that the service mark is registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in the United States.

Not all countries recognize the service mark symbol (℠), so it is essential to check the trademark laws of the country where you will be using the service mark.

In addition to these, there are other trademark symbols too.

The copyright trademark symbols (©) protect original works of authorship, such as books, movies, and architecture. The use of this symbol indicates that the copyright is registered with the U.S. Copyright Office.

The copyright trademarks symbol (℗) protects sound recordings, such as music albums and podcasts. This symbol indicates that the copyright is registered with the U.S. Copyright Office Office.

How to Use Trademark Symbols?

Where Do You Use a Trademark Symbol?

The trademark symbol should be used:

- On the trademark itself

- In marketing and promotional materials

- In the trademark notice section of your website or terms of use agreement

- When the trademark is first used in commerce

- Whenever the trademark is used in subsequent marketing and promotional materials

- Whenever the trademark is used on your website or in your terms of use agreement


The trademark symbol should always be placed close to the trademark it represents. It is usually placed in the upper right-hand corner of the trademark. If the trademark is used in a text, the symbol should be placed immediately after the trademark and capitalized.


Trademark symbols should be used in every instance where the trademark is used. Failure to use the symbol may work in the infringer's favor.

On the other hand, as a rule, it is preferable to employ a Trademark Symbol in the first prominent reference to a trademark within the text on a web page or other written materials such as articles, press releases, promotional materials, and so on. It is not required to use a Trademark Symbol every time the mark is utilized. This reduces visual clutter and confusion.

Third-Party Use of trademark symbols

If you are using a trademark that is not your own, you must still use the trademark symbol and include a statement indicating that the trademark is owned by someone else. 

You should also get permission from the trademark owner before using their trademark.

When in doubt, seek legal help. If you have any questions about trademark symbols or how to use them, you should contact a trademark attorney for help.


When you have a trademark, it's essential to protect it and use it correctly.

There are a few things you can do to maintain it:

  • There are a few fees associated with trademark maintenance. The trademark registration fee must be paid every ten years to keep the trademark registered.
  • There is also a fee for filing a trademark infringement lawsuit, and attorneys' fees can add up quickly if the trademark owner needs to hire an attorney. It is essential to be aware of these fees and budget for them to maintain your trademark.

How to write Trademark Symbols



from this page and then paste the registered symbol into your document


Press and hold ALT, then press 0, followed by 1, 7, and 4. You will get ®.

For MacBooks, press R while holding the Option key (ALT).


Copy        ©       or     ™

from this page, paste the copyright or trademark symbol into your document.


Press and hold ALT+0153 for the T.M. symbol ™ or ALT+0169 for the copyright symbol c ©.

Bottom line

  • Use the trademark symbol every time you use the trademark
  • Make sure the trademark is used correctly and consistently
  • Register the trademark with the appropriate country's trademark office



Can I use T.M. without registering?

The (T.M.) symbol has no legal significance. You may use the sign on any mark that your company uses without obtaining a licence. The TM symbol is most frequently seen on a forthcoming slogan, logo, word, or design for which a firm intends to register through the USPTO.

How do I put T.M. next to my name?

To use the T.M. symbol next to your name, you will need to trademark your name. Trademarking your name is a process that allows you to protect your trademark from infringement. There is a fee to trademark your name, and you will need to use the T.M. symbol every time you use the trademark. You should also register your trademark with the appropriate country's trademark office.


How long does a trademark last?

A trademark can last indefinitely as long as it is used and protected. To keep a trademark registered, the trademark owner must pay a registration fee every ten years. The trademark owner must also file a trademark infringement lawsuit if someone tries to use the trademark without permission.

Can I copyright a logo?

No, you cannot copyright a logo. A trademark is a type of intellectual property that can be registered with the government to protect your brand. The trademark protects the exclusive use of the logo and the trademark symbol can be used to sue anyone who infringes upon your trademark.

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