TM or SM? Use of Trademark (TM) and Service Mark (SM) Symbols

One common question related to the use of a trademark surrounds the use of the symbols “TM”, “SM” and ®. There can be some confusion about which symbol to use with a particular trademark and also when a symbol should be used with a trademark. The “TM” and “SM” symbols should be used to designated ownership in a trademark whether or not an application to register the trademark has been filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The “TM” symbol is used with a trademark representing goods and the “SM” symbol is used with a trademark representing services. Use of the proper trademark symbol next to the trademark alerts the public the owner is claiming ownership of the trademark. The ® symbol is used for a registered trademark with the USPTO, and should only be used by a trademark owner who has successfully completed the registration process for the trademark with the USPTO. The ® symbol designates a registered trademark with the USPTO and exclusive ownership of such trademark.

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