Trademark symbols are symbols or signs that are used to indicate that a particular word, logo, or slogan is a trademark or a registered trademark. These symbols serve as a visual indication that the mark is owned by a particular person or company and is protected by trademark laws.
There are three commonly used trademark symbols:
- ® symbol - The symbol for a registered trademark, ®, communicates that the given trademark has been registered with the intellectual property office. This symbol can only be used after the registration process has been completed, extending the level of legal protection against infringement attempts.
- ™ symbol - The use of the ™ symbol is less constrained, allowing all entrepreneurs to use this symbol to communicate their intention to use a given trademark in commerce. As a result, the ™ symbol is typically used for trademarks that have not been registered yet and are typically undergoing the registration process at the given point in time.
- ℠ symbol - This symbol is used less frequently but denotes trademarks for services (as opposed to physical products). Similarly to the use of the ™ symbol, the use of the ℠ symbol is more common in the US and there are no specific restrictions against its use. This means that entrepreneurs can use the ℠ symbol with their services to simply communicate their intention to use this trademark in commerce.