Difference between TM (™️) and R (®)

by Jan 31, 2022Uncategorized

People usually get confused between TM (™️) and R (®). The TM (™️) symbol is used when a trademark is in the process of getting registered but not grated yet. The R (®) symbol is used only after a trademark is granted.

Due to these symbols on brand name or logo, people get the idea that this has something to do with the legal rights but are not aware of their differences. This article focuses on these symbols and the difference in detail. 

What is a trademark?

Trademark is an intellectual property right that prevents others from using your trademark. Any name, logo, phrase, or combination can get trademarked. Trademarks help consumers to differentiate between different brands. 

To register your brand for trademark, you can apply to your country’s trademark office. If you are from India, you can check the trademark application process in detail here

 Symbols ( “™” or “®” ) and signify

Have you ever wondered what happens after you file a trademark application or when your trademark gets granted?

The answer is either of the symbols, “™” or “®” will appear along with the company and product name and logo. 

  • TM: Applied for the trademark registration but not yet registered.
  • ®: Trademark that is registered with the trademark office.

Registered and Unregistered trademarks

A registered trademark (R) is a trademark that is registered with the trademark office. When the trademark application has gone through all the processes and all objections about the trademark have been resolved, the trademark office issues a registration certificate to the applicant. This certificate is proof that the trademark application is now registered with the trademark office.

An unregistered trademark (TM) is the trademark going through the registration process and has not completed the registration process. Even a trademark for which the trademark application is not filled is also known as an unregistered trademark. Any name or symbol can be an unregistered trademark if it is not registered in the trademark office.

TM in detail

Any individual or corporation can use the TM sign to indicate that a word, phrase, or logo is meant to be used as a source identifier for that product or service. Several companies will choose to utilize the TM symbol in advance of and during the application procedure for new goods or services. Using “TM” with your brand name and logo shows that you planned to use your brand as a trademark and have already applied for the same. But you might not get your trademark registered in the case where your brand name or logo is the same or similar to others. 

TM logo signifies that the company or the individual is serious about protecting their brand and product’s reputation from any unauthorized use. It also projects the idea on the competitors’ minds that they might get sued if they use someone else’s trademark.

TM does not protect your brand name or symbol, as your trademark application is not yet registered with the trademark office. It signifies that no one else can register their trademark, which is the same as your trademark as you have already claimed for it before anyone else.

You can start using the TM logo right after filing for the trademark application and receiving a receipt after filing.

® in details

A company or an individual becomes eligible to use the “®” when their trademark application gets granted/registered. You have full rights over its use. The R symbol, indicating that it is a registered trademark for the product or service. It can only be used by the owner or licensee in the case of registered trademarks. 

Importance of ® logo

The “®” logo has more importance than the “™” logo. This logo shows that the trademark office has granted the brand name and logo after the examination. You can also protect your trademark from any unauthorized use.

® provides complete legal protection over your brand name or symbol as your trademark is already registered with the trademark office. It means that your trademark has gone through all the processes and resolved all the objections during the examination. You can also sue or penalize anyone who tries to use your trademark for their business and profit without your permission.

When can we use the ® logo

You can start using the ® symbol right after your application gets granted for the trademark. Using the ® logo without getting your brand registered is unlawful.

Advantages of ® over ™ and ®

® has several advantages over the TM, some of which are mentioned below:

  • ® logo has complete legal protection for your registered trademark.
  • You can recover damages for the infringement of your brand.
  • It provides 10 years of validity to the trademark.
  • Owners can renew their trademark an indefinite number of times.
  • You can give a license to others who want to use your brand.

Difference between ™ and ®

The basic difference between these symbols are well presented in the table below.

FeaturesTM Symbol ™️R Symbol ®
UsageUsed when trademark registration is pendingUsed after successful trademark registration
LegalitiesNo legal advantagesLegally protected
PurposeFor brand identity while waiting for the trademark registrationTo market product or service for building brand equity
Differences between ™️ and ®


Many people try to come up with distinctive names that represent their product or service as a trademark, however they frequently mix up the TM and R symbols. The TM and R symbols have a significant distinction. This article has explained the differences and various use cases for both.

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