What do trademark symbols signify

There are three main types of trademark symbols, the TM symbol, the SM symbol, and the R symbol. The TM symbol is often seen next to trademarks to signify that the mark is not registered with an intellectual property organization. It is used on trademarks that promote and brand goods commercially, whereas the SM symbol is used on service marks, which promote and brand services in a commercial capacity. The R symbol is used all over the globe to signify that a mark has been registered with a national trademark office.

Trademark symbols explained

In the case that a owner does not register their trademark with an intellectual property organization, they have to annotate their trademark with a ™ symbol. The trademark is allowed to be used commercially in order to promote and brand goods. If then the trademark is used without the authorization of the owner, the intellectual property organization or trademark watch services are not able to provide much assistance with finding a remedy – as the mark is not registered and the owner has no exclusive rights over the mark.

The ℠ symbol signifies an unregistered service mark that is used to promote and brand services instead of goods. It is not essential to use the ℠ symbol if you are branding your services and most jurisdiction will accept the ™ symbol instead.

The ® symbol signifies a trademark is registered and this symbol is recognized on an international scale. In the case that a registered trademark is used without authorization of the owner, the infringing party will be subjected to legal proceedings by the owner.