Different types of Trademark Symbols in India

A trademark is a distinguished feature that aids or helps the customers in recognizing the products and services of a company. Trademarks serve as a source of indicators for products or services. Trademarks can be classified into several different categories, including a logo, sound, word, form, design, letter, or combination of letters and words. Lets know about several trademark symbol through this article.

The trademark symbols and Ⓡ are typically included with trademark and registration by their owners who should have their unique trademarks. At various points during the trademark registration process, these are affixed to the trademarks. Owners of trademarks must thus understand the meaning behind these symbols and when to utilize them in the right way.

What are the different types of trademark symbol?

  • TM [™] Symbol
    • TM [™] Symbol Businesses typically use the Trademark symbol as proof that they have applied for registration of the trademark or that this is their first usage. A trademark owner can only use the Trademark symbol after filing a trademark application with the Registrar of Trademarks. The Trademark symbol serves as a warning for the infringers, copycats, duplicators, and counter-fitters. Trademark owners use the ™ symbol after a text, logo, design, or picture that they claim as their own and unique, but they are not legally registered with a regulatory body.
    • The 45 classes that the trademarks are categorized into show the products or services that the mark is applied to. Classes 1-34 represent the products, and classes 35–45 represent the services. While filing a trademark application under the 1-34 class, some trademark owners use the Trademark symbol whereas while filing under the 35-45 class, others use the SM symbol. It is permissible to use an SM mark for a trademark application filed under classes 35–45 or the TM sign for all trademark classes.
  • SM Symbol
    • SM Symbol, The Service Mark, or SM, the symbol is used with trademark applications that are filed under class 35–45. Some applicants choose to use the Trademark symbol for applications filed under class 1-34 and the SM mark for applications filed under class 35–45. It is acceptable to use the Trademark symbol for all classes or the SM mark for applications under classes 35–45.
  • R [Ⓡ] Symbol
    • Once a trademark is registered, the owner of the trademark may use the Ⓡ symbol next to the trademark only after the registration. This indicates that the trademark is registered and will not be violated by any third parties. Registered trademarks are defined as texts, logos, designs, or images that are legally registered with the Office of Registrar of Trademarks. A person may face the consequences of legal action for trademark infringement if they use a trademark with the Ⓡ sign without the registered owner’s prior approval. A registered trademark helps in preventing unauthorized use of a company’s goods and services.
    • On the other hand, it is illegal to use the Ⓡ sign after submitting a trademark application but before receiving trademark registration. It is only permissible to use the Ⓡ sign next to a trademark after it has been registered or undergone the registration process. The Ⓡ sign does not always need to be placed next to a trademark. The main purpose is that it asserts the right of the trademark owner to use the mark and identifies it as legally registered.
  • C [ⓒ] symbol
    • For copyrighted works such as photography, artwork, films, novels, and literary works, among others, they use this sign. It is used along with the name of the copyright holder and the initial publication year.
    • To assert copyright protection, you may need to use the ⓒ sign which is quite evident in some countries. It is not necessary to use the ⓒ sign following the Berne Convention to assert copyright protection. Since India ratified the Berne Convention, copyright holders there are exempt from using the ⓒ mark to identify their protected works.

Difference between Logo and Trademark?

Most people think that a trademark and logo is something similar however, a trademark is not the same as a logo. A trademark shields a logo from harm. A logo is a picture or graphic that a corporation or business uses to represent its goods and services. A name, letters, a word and number combination, graphics, sounds, etc. can all be trademarks.


In conclusion, a trademark serves as a distinctive feature allowing customers to identify products and services, encompassing various forms such as logos, words, or designs. Understanding trademark symbols is crucial for owners; the ™ symbol indicates a filed application, SM is for services, and the Ⓡ symbol signifies full registration, emphasizing legal protection against infringement. It’s essential to use these symbols accurately, as they play a pivotal role in safeguarding intellectual property and preventing unauthorized use.

1. What does the ™ symbol indicate in a brand name?

The symbol signifies that a brand or totem is being used as a trademark, indicating a claim of common-law rights indeed if the mark isn’t federally registered.  

2. Can any business use the ™ symbol without formal registration?

Yes, any business can use the symbol to claim the power of a trademark, indeed without formal registration. It serves as notice to others about the asserted rights in the mark.  

3. How does the ™ symbol differ from the ® symbol?  

The ™ symbol is used for unrecorded trademarks, while the ® symbol is reserved for trademarks that have been officially registered with the applicable government authority.   

4. Is it obligatory to use the ™ symbol with a trademark?  

No, it isn’t obligatory to use the ™ symbol with a trademark. Still, using it can give notice to others and help establish common-law rights.   

5. What are the benefits of federally registering a trademark with the ® symbol?  

Civil registration with the ® symbol provides several advantages, including civil protection, the capability to bring legal action in civil court, and a legal presumption of power and validity.   

6. Can the ™ symbol be used for any type of mark, including words, ensigns, and taglines?  

Yes, the ™ symbol can be used for colourful types of trademarks, including words, ensigns, taglines, and other distinctive rudiments that a business wants to identify as its own. 

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