The different symbols used in trademarks
You’ll see different markings against trademarks, sometimes TM, sometimes SM and sometimes an R in a circle. Now, the only one that the law really recognizes as an important marking is the R in a circle, and that’s reserved for federally registered trademarks. Unless you have a federal registration of your trademark, you should not use the R in a circle. However, immediately you start to use a mark, you can use either TM or SM. TM is short for trademark, and trademark is a mark that’s used to indicate the source of particular goods, like clothing or food. SM is for services, banking services, airline services, parking services. So those are the three markings you usually see. But, remember, R in a circle is reserved for registered trademarks.