Although we are used to seeing these symbols everywhere, we have noticed that most people are unaware that they have different uses and applications. What’s more, most people don’t even know how to write them. For this reason, we have created this brief guide on how to use and write the symbols Trademark™, Registered® and Copyright©, as well as some additional symbols.
NOTE: The quickest way to write these symbols is simply to copy them from this page. Bookmark it!
How to write ™, ℠, ® and © symbols
Each symbol has a keyword shortcut. To insert them into text, type and hold “Alt” (left of the space bar) with any of the following numerical sequences:
- Alt + 0153 for trademark symbol tm ™
- Alt + 0174 for registered symbol r ®
- Alt + 0169 for copyright symbol c ©
For Microsoft Office, we have two additional options, the simplest one is to type in (tm), (r), or © and autocorrect will take care of it. Alternatively we can always obtain these and other symbols using Insert > Symbols
How do I write the Service Mark Symbol sm℠?
There is unfortunately no standard way to write the “service mark” symbol across all platforms. Although most platforms recognize it, it’s a special character so not all have a quick way of writing it.
In Microsoft Office you can obtain using the Insert > Symbols method above.
This will not work for other circumstances, for instance in a browser. The best solution is to copy it from somewhere. If you are a more advanced user, you could use HTML to insert it in your texts using the following code: “℠”
What protection do they grant?
Now that we know how to type them in, we are going to analyze the protection that each of the symbols grant. We’ve found that our clients use them indistinctly, but it’s very important to clarify that some of these don’t provide any protection to the trademark, rather information to potential infringers.
TM™ Symbol (and SM℠ Symbol)
This symbol is used to let others know that you claim the exclusive use of the trademark. Generally, this symbol is used for a trademark that has not been yet registered, but want to let others know that the trademark is in use and you will contest others’ use of it.
However, claiming a trademark for yourself doesn’t mean that it’s protected or that it can even be protected. This symbol can be used even if an application is rejected by a trademark office.
In addition to the ™ symbol there's the lesser known and used ℠ symbol, used for trademarks that protect services of any kind.
All of the information in this article is valid for countries in which protection and ownership of a trademark is granted to “first to use” users. This is not the case in “first to file/register” countries, where these rules don’t apply.
The R Symbol ®
This R symbol is an ownership warning used in many countries to let the public know that a trademark (products and/or services), is registered and legally protected. This symbol can only be used in combination with a registered trademark. In some countries, the use of the r ® symbol with an unregistered trademark can bear legal consequences including fraud accusations.
The C Symbol ©
Used to notify the copyright claim or authorship of non-audio works.
The C © symbol is internationally recognized and is to this day used widely. However, under the Berne convention this symbol lost its meaning as now protection is granted automatically to the creators.
Symbol P ℗
This symbol covers audio works, which are not covered by Copyright. The symbol P ℗ comes from “Phonogram”
How and where should I place the symbols TM™, SM℠, R®, C ©, P ℗ in my trademark?
There aren’t any specific rules when it comes to the placement of the different symbols. Generally we find them in the top right corner of the trademarks or to the right left of the trademark. Both ways are acceptable.
Some of these symbols are used to indicate a protection granted only after a trademark has already been registered, therefore we should never include them as part of designs when we submit a trademark for registration. They should be added only once (and if) the trademark is effectively registered.
Should you include them in the application of your trademark, it’s very likely that the trademark office will issue an objection and request that you submit a new copy without any symbols.
We hope this information was useful to you. If you have any questions, please contact us and we will be happy to help.
Other articles you may find of interest:
- 7 Things you should know about International Trademark Registration
- What can be Trademarked?
- How to Avoid Trademark Infringement
Author: Tirso García, Product Manager @ iGERENT