Before you add a trademark symbol to any word, slogan, phrase or logo using a superscript, you must understand proper trademark use as improper use can lead to legal liability. Before you begin, determine if your trademark has been registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, or USPTO, and determine if your registration has received an official determination from the USPTO.
The TM and SM Superscripts
The TM and SM superscripts can be used with any mark regardless of whether your mark is registered with the USPTO. TM stands for trademark and SM stands for servicemark. Although the terms are used interchangeably, many parties opt to use the TM superscript even when technically designating a servicemark. The TM and SM superscripts must be used if your trademark is registered with a state trademark agency or not registered at all, as use of the ® symbol is restricted.
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The ® Symbol
Unlike the SM and TM symbols, the ® symbol is reserved only for marks that have been registered with the USPTO. Additionally, the ® symbol may not be used while your trademark application is pending with the USPTO, but only after you have been granted a successful certificate of registration. Finally, after being granted registration you may only use the ® symbol with regard to the products and services you've identified on your trademark application.
Creating Superscripts in Windows
The ® symbol may be used simply by copying and pasting it from your computer's web browser. In order to create the ® symbol in superscript on a Windows computer, you must turn on number-lock, hold down the ALT button and type the code 0174 on the number pad to the right of the standard keyboard keys. To create the TM superscript follow the exact same process but type the code 0153.
Creating Superscripts on a Mac
In order to make the ® symbol superscript on a Mac, use the Option Key + R. For the TM superscript, use the Option Key + 0153. Alternatively, you may also copy and paste the appropriate text from a third party or use the Mac keyboard application viewer to select the appropriate characters.
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