How to Type the Registered Trademark Symbol

By Lee Hall, J.D.

How to Type the Registered Trademark Symbol

By Lee Hall, J.D.

You know the common trademark symbols: the small, raised TM or SM and the circled letter R. Alas, keyboards don't make it easy to type these characters. Let's look at what these symbols mean and some options for typing them.

Laptop keyboard with blue button that says "trademark"

What These Symbols Mean

A trademark is a name or logo representing a unique product or service. It can exist with or without official registration. The federal registration symbol, the encircled R (®) is for marks that have obtained an official registration by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Its use is optional, but owners should insert it in to preserve their rights. In an enforcement action, you may ask the court for monetary damages, including lost profits, if you show that the infringer had actual knowledge of your mark's federal registration.

The TM (™) stands for unregistered or pending trademarks on goods or on a combination of goods and services. The SM (℠) signifies an unregistered mark just for services. You do not need to use TM or SM symbols, as their use does not offer any state or federal protection, but the use of the TM or SM does put viewers on notice of your claim. Thus, it can prevent others from adopting a name and logo like yours for similar products or services.

How to Type the Characters

Now, here are some handy ways to type these symbols.

Registered Trademark Symbol

The encircled capital R normally appears raised at the right-hand side of a business name or logo. It is only for federally registered marks, not for pending marks or state registrations. There are a few different ways to type it in Microsoft Office:

  • Type (r) and the automatic correction function creates the symbol. (To undo the autocorrection, press the CTRL key and the Z key together, which reverses the last move you made when typing.)
  • Hold down the left ALT key while typing 0174 on the numeric section (usually on the right side) of your keyboard. Release ALT and see the symbol in your browser field.
  • As you write your document, one of the tabs along top of your screen is the INSERT tab. Press it, then find SYMBOLS, which shows a SPECIAL CHARACTERS menu. Click on the one you wish to use. This is a great way to find just about any symbol you'll need in your drafting.

If you're on an Apple computer, using any word processing software, press the OPTION key and the R key to get the symbol.

Finally, if you're working on a website, use &#x00AE for HTML or &reg.

Unregistered Trademark Symbol

The raised TM signifies an unregistered trademark. Like the registered trademark symbol, there are a few ways to type the unregistered trademark symbol in Microsoft Office:

  • Type (tm), which will automatically correct it to make the ™ symbol.
  • Hold down the left ALT key while typing 0153 on the numeric section of your keyboard. Release ALT and see the symbol in your browser field.
  • Use the INSERT tab and find the symbol.

Press the OPTION key and the 2 key to have the symbol immediately appear when using an Apple computer. For HTML, use &#8482 or &trade.

Service Mark Symbol

Once registered, a service mark may carry the encircled R, just as all registered trademarks do. If the service has no official registration, you need the raised SM symbol.

Whether in Outlook or in a Word document, Microsoft does not supply an easy raised SM shortcut, but you can simply copy and paste the ℠ symbol from this page. (Highlight it with your cursor, press CTRL+C, place your cursor in your document, then press CTRL+V.) If you're on an Apple computer, use the character palette. Use &#8480 to insert the symbol into your draft for HTML.

Style Tips

Place the appropriate symbol at the upper right-hand corner of a name or logo. You may place it at the lower right, but avoid defying business norms by putting it on the left of, over, or under the mark.

In articles, announcements, and so forth, simply use a symbol with the first or most obvious instance of the mark.

Preserving the originality of your work is important, especially if it is protected by law. Placing the appropriate symbol by your protected work lets everyone know that.

This portion of the site is for informational purposes only. The content is not legal advice. The statements and opinions are the expression of author, not LegalZoom, and have not been evaluated by LegalZoom for accuracy, completeness, or changes in the law.