TM: Trademark is a symbol that can be used when a potential mark is linked to a product (books, clothing, rugs, etc.). To use the TM symbol next to a trademark, an individual does not need to have a registered trademark with the USPTO. Indeed, the TM makes no claim to the mark’s registration status with the USPTO, but it does serve an important purpose in informing competitors that the mark is at least being considered in connection with the intended goods. Importantly, using the TM does not confer trademark rights and does not guarantee that the mark will be protected under trademark law.
SM: The SM stands for Service Mark, and it can be used when the prospective mark is associated with a service (accounting, bookkeeping, legal services, personal training services, and so on), rather than a good (clothing). Similar to the TM symbol, an individual does not need to hold a USPTO-registered trademark to use the SM symbol next to a mark, but the SM still has the significant symbolic connotation of Use-in-Commerce with the defined service. The SM symbol is unique to the United States, which prefers to differentiate SM from a TM. In most other nations, the TM mark is used for both goods and services, making the SM symbol obsolete. Importantly, use of the SM does not grant trademark rights and cannot ensure that the mark will be protected under trademark law.
®: The Circle R symbol is the most well-known and undoubtedly the most desirable, and it can only be used once the USPTO issues a valid trademark registration. Indeed, if the applicant applied for a trademark with the USPTO and began using the Circle R sign before receiving a registration number, he would be breaking federal law and his trademark application would most certainly be rejected. As a result, this trademark sign serves the critical function of conveying constructive notice of the mark’s legal ownership. The Circle mark’s aesthetics, like the TM and SM, are crucial to note, and it’s written as a little superscript sign typographically.
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STEPS TO GET A ® TRADEMARK SYMBOL
- Choose a unique name, logo, or slogan.
- Conduct a trademark search to see if the desired trademark is available at the USPTO.
- Choose the right filing basis for your trademark application, which is usually either a 1(a) Use in Commerce or a 1(b) Intent-to-Use trademark application.
- Choose the relevant Goods/Services Class.
- Input the goods/services sold under the trademark’s umbrella.
- Submit a sample of the trademark’s commercial use.
- Please provide the Date of First Use as well as the Date of First Use in Commerce.
- Submit $225.00 or $275.00 in government filing fees per class of goods/services.
WHERE SHOULD I PLACE MY TRADEMARK SYMBOLS?
Whether it’s a TM, SM, or ®, the trademark symbol (whether it’s a TM, SM, or ®) is almost always put on the top right corner of the mark. It is perfectly appropriate for the trademark symbol to be put directly after the end of the trademark if the applicant chooses to utilize ordinary-sized font for the symbol.
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HOW TO TYPE THE TM SYMBOL
Symbols for trademarks are usually written in Superscript, which means they will be smaller and in a somewhat different typeface. To generate the trademark symbol on an iPhone, simply type “tm” and press enter; the user interface will generate the registered trademark symbol ® automatically. Simply hold down the “Option” key while pressing the R letter on a Mac computer, and the registered trademark symbol ® will show.
SHOULD I INCLUDE THE TRADEMARK SYMBOL IN MY TRADEMARK APPLICATION?
NO! Unfortunately, trademark applicants frequently make this error. The trademark components TM, SM, and ® are unregistrable and will very certainly result in a trademark office action. Worse, if the applicant includes the ® in the trademark application, the applicant has broken federal law and the trademark application will be refused. What causes this to happen? The examining attorney will carefully consider each submitted specimen upon receipt of the trademark application for review, and if the federal registration symbol is used with the mark or any portion of the mark, the examining attorney will consult USPTO records to determine the existence of the registered portion of the mark and thus the acceptability of the symbols used. The application will receive an office action if the examining attorney is unable to discover a USPTO record that validates the use of the registered trademark symbol. 906.03 TMEP
WHEN CAN I USE THE TM SYMBOL AND WHICH ONE TO USE?
Remember that the use of different TM Symbols is governed by different restrictions. A “TM” can be used before a trademark is registered with the USPTO or even before a trademark application is filed with the USPTO. Indeed, the “TM” only denotes that the trademark is protected and has rights under common law.
The United States Patent and Trademark Office takes the use of the correct trademark very seriously. Consider TMEP 906.04., which emphasizes the importance of just utilizing the Trademark Symbol that is acceptable for one’s mark.
“Fraud is willful misuse of the federal registration sign, ®, with the intent to deceive or mislead the public or the USPTO. 945 F.2d 1563, 20 USPQ2d 1295 (Fed. Cir. 1991); Wells Fargo & Co. v. Lundeen & Assocs., 20 USPQ2d 1156 (TTAB 1991).”
This is a serious situation.
If the examining attorney feels that the trademark application was filed fraudulently, he must investigate further.
Call the managing attorney’s attention to the problem.
If the managing attorney believes that the USPTO has been the victim of fraud, the managing attorney will notify the Administrator for Trademark Policy and Procedure.
If the Administrator believes that more action is necessary, the Administrator will recommend a course of action to the Commissioner for Trademarks. TMEP 720 is an abbreviated version of TMEP 720.
The list goes on and on. DO NOT USE THE TRADEMARK SYMBOL TO COMMIT FRAUD.
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Trademark And Copyright Symbols
A trademark symbol alerts people to your ownership of the trademark and exclusive use of it. A trademark sign is typically used when a trademark has not yet been registered and you simply want others to know that you are using it and will object if someone else does so without your permission. The SM symbol is used for service marks in the same way that the TM symbol is used for trademarks.
The ® symbol is used by trademark owners to indicate that their trademark is lawfully registered and protected. This symbol cannot be used for an unregistered trademark.
The public is notified of your copyright claim over a piece of creative work by a superscript circled C or the symbol. The exclusive right to use and distribute an original work granted to its creator is known as copyright. For a brief time, copyright is awarded. It’s a type of intellectual property that covers music, poems, books, plays, paintings, pictures, and computer graphics, among other things.
Inserting Trademark Symbols In Microsoft Office
A keyboard shortcut can be used to insert a symbol. Simply hit and hold the Alt key while entering the following numerical sequence:
- Insert a trademark symbol by pressing Alt + 0153: TM
- Insert a registered mark symbol: ® by pressing Alt + 0174.
Insert a copyright symbol by pressing Alt + 0169:
In the Num Lock enabled mode, you must utilize the numeric keypad. This will not function with the numeric keys above the alphabets on the main keyboard.
There are two more possibilities for inserting these symbols in Microsoft Office:
All you have to do is type ™, (r), or (c), and the autocorrect feature will convert it to a symbol.
You can use the Insert > Symbols option in the Word document to insert any of the symbols.
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