Owners of intellectual property use various symbols to inform the public of their ownership rights. Following is a list of the various symbols used by intellectual property owners and the meaning of each.

(TM) Trademark ™

This is used by trademark owners to indicate their ownership rights in an unregistered trademark. Trademarks are attached to a product, or the packaging or labeling of the product to indicate the product’s source / origin and to distinguish the product from all others in the marketplace. The TM designation usually appears in superscript at the upper right-hand corner of the mark, though such placement is not required, and the symbol can appear anywhere the mark owner chooses, so long as it is clear what mark the symbol modifies.

(SM) Service Mark

This is used by service mark owners to indicate their ownership rights in an unregistered service mark. Service marks are used in marketing, advertising or promotional materials to indicate the source / origin of the services, and to distinguish the services from all others in the marketplace. The SM designation usually appears in superscript at the upper right-hand corner of the mark, though such placement is not required, and the symbol can appear anywhere the mark owner chooses, so long as it is clear what mark the symbol modifies.

Certification Mark

This is used by certification mark owners to indicate their ownership rights in an unregistered certification mark. Certification marks are unusual because they may not be used by the owner of the mark. Rather, the mark owner licenses its mark to others to certify that the licensee’s products or services meet certain criteria set forth by the mark owner. Certification mark owners set a standard which their licensees’ products or services must attain to use the mark.

(R) Registered ®

This is used instead of TM or SM once a trademark or service mark becomes registered. It is used in the same manner that TM or SM were.

(C) Copyright ©

This is used by copyright owners to indicate their ownership rights in copyrighted material. This symbol is used in conjunction with the year that the work was completed, followed by the name of the copyright owner. (© 2003 Lara Pearson). When additional material is added to a work, numerous years, or a range of years may be used in the notice (© 2000, 2001, 2002 Lara Pearson) or (© 1999-2003 Lara Pearson). It is important to note that the author of a work is generally the person who created it, unless there is an agreement otherwise (such as an employment contract or a work for hire agreement).

(P) Published è

This symbol is used by copyright owners to indicate their ownership rights in a sound recording. This symbol is used in conjunction with the year that the work was published followed by the name of the author (2003 Greatest Band Ever).