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  • Writer's pictureTodd

What do ℠, ™, and ® by trademarks mean?




What is the difference between ℠, ™, and ®?


You can only use ® if you have a trademark registration. In the United States, that registration applies to the Principal Register and the Supplemental Register.


You should use the ™ if you are asserting any trademark rights in your source identifier. For example, if you have filed a trademark application, you should use the ™ designation to put others on notice that you are claiming trademark rights. You could also use ™ to signify state or common law trademark rights.


Another reason some may choose to use ™ instead of the ® is if they are a worldwide entity and they don’t have registrations in all jurisdictions they are using the mark. I’m not sure of FIFA’s reasons for using the ™, but you often see the ™ designation for references to the FIFA World Cup, even though they have registrations in the United States.


There is one more trademark designation to talk about. This one is more rare, but if you see ℠, that means service mark. It identifies services instead of goods. This may be used prior to and after registration. Remember that the International Classes for services are classes 35-45, so you might see the SM designation for hotels, restaurants, legal services, advertising services, etc.

Please note that the information contained in this article is intended for general informational purposes only and not as specific legal advice. The facts of your situation may differ from this general information. It is not intended to and does not in any way establish an attorney-client relationship.


If you wish to schedule a consultation, let’s work together on your trademark needs

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