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Registered Trademark Symbol and Proper Use of Trademark

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  Posted on April 27, 2021

Registered Trademark Symbol

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A trademark is a word, phrase, symbol, design, color, sound, or a combination that serves to identify the source of goods or services from those of another. Trademark registration should be used and about when and how trademark symbols should be used.

Why Do Trademark Symbols Exist?

Trademark symbols exist to serve as notice to the public that the mark preceding the symbol is a trademark. Notice may serve to deter others from using the mark, but can also provide penitentiary benefits in any potential infringement suits

When Should the Symbols Be Used?

Use of trademark symbols is not actually required by law, but doing so is beneficial. In fact, the  and SM symbols do not have any legal significance, but instead are informal ways of telling the world that you are claiming ownership of trademark rights in a word, phrase, and/or logo. The following are some general guidelines for using the trademark symbols.


The designation should be placed immediately following the mark that is registered. The norm is to place the symbol in superscript in the upper-right-hand corner, or in some cases, in subscript in the lower right-hand corner.


Use of a trademark symbol in the first prominent mention of a trademark is more important than repeated use throughout a brochure or web page. The symbol does not have to be used every time the mark is used. Instead, use the symbol in the first instance the mark is used, in the most prominent use of the mark, or both. Repeated use of trademark symbols can become cluttered.

Electronic Materials

Use the designation at least once per web page in which the mark is used. Placing the designation in any static representation that is repeated on every page is also a good idea.

Social Media

The guidelines for marks appearing on social media can be more relaxed. Most companies only use the designation in their username/bio portion of a social media account, while some companies do not use the designation at all. The majority of companies will not use the designation following their mark in every blog post, status, or tweet, although some may try to do so in an effort to fight against their mark from being considered generic.

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