What Is The Difference Between a TM and an R in a Circle Symbols

What's the difference between a ™ and a ®?

Can you use the TM symbol for unregistered trademarks? Can you use the R in a circle symbol for registered trademarks?

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A TM (™) means that you think it’s your trademark. You put it next to your brand. TM would signify that you, yourself, think that this brand, this name, this logo, this tagline—whatever it is— is your trademark.

The R in a circle (®) means it’s a registered trademark. So you think it’s a trademark and the government agrees. The government agrees that you can use certain laws and certain presumptions embedded in these laws to go after anybody who may want to steal your brand.

You can do a lot of things with a TM in countries that recognize unregistered trademarks— again we have a video for that—but an R means it is registered by the government, it’s a registered trademark, unlike the TM which is an unregistered trademark.

Sometimes, you can have a registered trademark and still have TM next to it. You are not required to put an R in a circle next to registered trademarks, but you cannot put ® next to unregistered trademarks.

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See our answers to other frequently asked questions about trademarks or leave your comments below!

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