top of page
Search
  • CASTELLANO

WHEN CAN YOU USE THE TM SYMBOL (™) AND REGISTERED TRADEMARK SYMBOL (®)?



Let the world know when you have trademark rights you expect to enforce. U.S. trademark law provides three trademark symbols SM (℠) , TM (™), and circled R (®) for providing notice of trademark rights, and to communicate the nature of those rights depending on the relevant status of trademark protection.


The three symbols are:

  • the circled R (®),

  • the superscript capital letters TM (™),

  • the superscript capital letters SM (℠).


I. The circled R (®)


The circled R (®) can only be used for registered trademarks and for goods and services identified in the registration. Until a trademark is registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and placed on the U.S. PTO register, only the SM (℠) and TM (™) symbols can be used. The SM (℠) and TM (™) symbols denote common law trademark protection.


A trademark owner's authority to use the circled R (®) is an advantage of federal registration. The circled R (®) symbolizes a highest level of U.S. trademark protection. The circled R (®) has become an indicator of a trustworthy product. The circled R (®) can deter infringement while instilling confidence in consumers.


II. The TM (™)


Trademark rights arise at common law through use of the trademark in commerce to identify a source of goods or services. Common law trademark rights are independent of federal registration. The TM (™)  symbol is used to designate trademark rights at common law.


III. The SM (℠) 


A trademark is called a service mark when the mark is used to associate services, rather than goods, with a particular source. Common law trademark rights are independent of federal registration. The SM (℠) symbol is used to designate trademark rights at common law.


IV. Placement and Usage


Each of the three symbols, SM (℠), TM (™), and circled R (®) should be placed in a superscript position following an associated mark. The circled R may not be used before a trademark is registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The circled R may not be used after a federal trademark registration application is filed and before registration is granted.


Contact us for assistance or questions concerning trademark notice marking, trademark registration, and/or trademark infringement.


Recent Posts

See All

Comments


bottom of page