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What do the symbols “TM”, “SM”, and “®” stand for?

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The symbol “TM” stands for trademark, while “SM” stands for service mark. These symbols may be used for any mark which a person claims rights to, even if they have not officially filed a registration with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The symbol “®”, on the other hand, cannot be used without a mark being first officially registered, as it is the federal registration symbol. The use of such a symbol can only occur after the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) registers a mark, meaning that an application pending status does not grant power to use the registration symbol. After registration of a mark is granted, an individual is free to use the federal registration symbol for whatever goods and/or services are outlined in the registration filings.

For more information on intellectual property, please visit Patent, Trademark, Copyright Information.

The content of this article is not intended to be, and does not constitute, legal advice and does not create attorney-client privilege. Consult the attorney of your choice before embarking on any legal matter or any document preparation/filing.

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Dr. Thomas R. (Terry) Williamson III is a Patent Attorney practicing in Atlanta, Georgia.

C2008, Williamson Intellectual Property Law, LLC; all rights reserved, world-wide.

Williamson Intellectual Property Law, LLC
1870 The Exchange, Suite 100
Atlanta, GA 30339
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Williamson Intellectual Property Law, LLC
1870 The Exchange, Suite 100 - Atlanta, Georgia 30339