Service Mark Symbols
this lesson, we will discuss four symbols that you can use to protect
your work from being stolen:
Click Here for Step-by-Step Rules, Stories and Exercises to Practice All English Tenses
- copyright symbol ©
- trademark symbol ™
- service mark symbol ( SM )
- registered trademark symbol ®
All of these symbols offer protection from plagiarism.
is copying or stealing someone's work without permission.
is the legal right
to be the only one to publish or sell a book, musical recording, etc.
The person with the copyright is the legal owner, and other people cannot use the product without his or her permission.
The copyright symbol is a capital C inside a circle: ©
The copyright symbol is used to show copyright notice for all
works other than sound recordings.
On the keyboard
- The copyright symbol is made on most PCs by holding the ALT key
0169 on the numeric keypad to the right.
- Another easy way to make a copyright symbol is by pressing CTRL +
C. This command works well on laptops that do not have a
- You can also insert the copyright symbol by using the INSERT
menu and selecting the copyright sign.
can make the copyright symbol by pressing OPTION + G.
History of the Copyright Symbol
The copyright symbol © was first introduced on July 1, 1909, through
the United States Copyright Act of 1909.
The Copyright Act of 1976 replaced the Copyright Act of 1909. The
copyright symbol is still used.
In 1988, the Berne Convention Implementation Act was added to the
Copyright Act of 1976.
The Bern Convention Implementation Act states that any work created
after March 1, 1989, does not need a copyright symbol © to be
- All works created after March 1, 1989, do not need a
copyright symbol to be protected.
All new works are protected from the moment they are
put onto paper.
- However, the United States Copyright Office recommends that
use the copyright symbol to show it is your original work.
Unpublished works can be marked with a copyright like this:
Title of unpublished work © 2012 Jane Smith
- Published works do have a copyright attached.
Published means the work is being printed and available for sale.
- Works published before March 1, 1989 must have a copyright
symbol to be
A copyright protects the author's work for 70 years after
Most works created before the 20th century are no longer protected
under the copyright laws and are available to the public.
- If a piece of work does not have a copyright, then it can be copied
and used without permission. Note that a piece of work can have no
copyright symbol attached but still have a copyright.
For sound recordings, we use the phonograph copyright symbol.
The phonograph copyright symbol is a capital P inside a
The phonograph copyright symbol be made on most PCs by typing 2117 followed by Alt + X.
If you would like more information about the copyright symbol, visit the official United States Copyright Office website.
Trademark and Service Mark Symbols
The trademark symbol is a small "TM." ( ™ )
If you want to claim rights to a word, name, or logo that represents a company that makes a product, use the trademark symbol.
(A logo is a symbol or picture that represents a company's name.)
The service mark is made with the letters "SM."
A service mark is the same as a trademark except it is used to claim the rights to a word, name, or logo
represents a service
- A company
that provides home cleaning services could use a service mark on
business cards that display their company name and logo.
- A band that can be hired to play at parties and weddings could use a service mark.
- A company that provides taxi services would use a service mark on advertisements to protect their name and logo.
These two symbols do not offer legal protection
, but they do tell other people that you claim ownership of that word, name, or logo.
You do not have to get permission or file any paperwork to use the trademark or service mark symbols.
On the keyboard:
- You can type the trademark symbol on most keyboards by
CTRL + T at the same time.
- You can also insert the trademark symbol by choosing INSERT
selecting the trademark symbol.
- You can make the trademark symbol on any Windows program by
and typing 0153
on the keypad to the right.
- You cannot make a service mark symbol on a regular keyboard.
Registered Trademark Symbol
The registered trademark symbol looks like a tiny "R" inside a circle.
( ® )
The registered trademark ( ® ) is the same as a trademark ( ™
) or service mark ( SM ) except the registered trademark symbol legally
protects words, names, and logos from
The registered trademark symbol may only be used after the work is registered
United States Trademark Office (or its foreign equivalent) and you have received a certificate.
The registered trademark symbol gives you public and legal ownership of your mark.
On the keyboard:
- You can create a registered trademark symbol by pressing CTRL +
ALT + R
at the same time.
- You can also insert the registered trademark symbol by
SYMBOL and selecting the registered trademark symbol.
- You can make the registered trademark symbol on any Windows
holding the ALT key
and typing 0174
on the keypad to the right.
If you use a trademarked name, you should show it by placing
one of the symbols by the name.
These are some of the
products with popular registered trademarks:
If you would like more information about the trademark, service mark, and registered trademark symbols, visit the United States Patent and Trademark Office website.
The logo has changed over the years, but includes a soda bottle.
They have trademarked the "swish" logo.
The "golden arches" is the logo of this fast-food restaurant.
- Harley Davidson®
Their well-known logo is called the "bar and shield" logo.
This logo is a blue square with the letter "f" inside.
The logo for this popular airline is made of two 3-dimensional, red
triangles that make one larger triangle.
These were the uses of the Copyright, Trademark, and Service Mark
Symbols. Now that you know them, it is
time to practice! Read and do
Get Updates, Special Offers, and English Resources