® and ™ are the two symbols commonly used to indicate trademarks. ® is used as the registered trademark symbol and ™ is used for marks that have not been registered. The registered trademark symbol provides notice that the word or mark has been registered and is protected by law. A logo, symbol, word, or words may be registered for representing services or products.

Non-registered Trademarks ™

Your business can use the ™ symbol at any time and you do not need to register that mark to be able to use the ™ symbol. Use the ™ symbol to inform your competition that your business considers the mark to be a trademark. The goal is for competitors to see the symbol that marks your trademark claim.

Registered Trademarks ®

The ® symbol may only be used after a trademark has been registered. The ® symbol may not be used while the trademark application is pending and the ® symbol may only be used in connection with the goods and services listed on the registration certificate.

Service Marks ℠

The ℠ symbol stands for Service Mark, which indicates services rather than goods, but because the abbreviation SM has another derogatory meaning, it is rarely used. The ™ symbol works fine and should be used instead.

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