Symbol, Copyright, Trademark

Various symbols are used to indicate the legal status of copyrighted items and trademarks. The letters TM printed in a raised, superscript fashion after the brand name, i.e. Bubba indicates that the vendor asserts trademark rights in the name. It may usually be used even with a common law mark or unregistered mark; alternately for services a superscript for service-mark  is sometimes used instead of TM. The R in a circle, i.e., ® means that a trademark has been registered in a trademark office—it is usually an offense to use this symbol if the mark is unregistered.

The copyright symbol, i.e., © is a notice that an author asserts copyright in the work; it is usually followed by the year of creation. The advantage of the symbol © is that it is universally recognized as asserting copyright, even in countries where the English word “copyright” would not be normal usage.

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