School me on the Registered symbol

Client wants me to add the Registered symbol ® to her logo. She is getting it officially registered. Are there any rules on how to use this in a logo - placement, size?
Does it make a difference where you are regionally - different rules or whatnot?
What about font? Many fonts have their own version of the symbol.

To the best of my knowledge, in the US, there is no requirement to use the ® symbol on your logo. Personally, I hate to see registered marks on logos, it makes them look cheaper.

Think of brands like Apple, HP, Starbucks, Google, etc. they don’t include it.

You said “She is getting officially registered” which to me sounds like she’s only submitted an application to be registered and hasn’t actually received confirmation that her mark is approved.

It can take over a year to find out if a mark is either approved or rejected. If she has only submitted the application for it, then you should use a ™ symbol instead. TMs are used before a trademark gets officially registered (it essentially means “we have intent to trademark this logo”). Only upon receiving confirmation that her mark is officially registered with the trademark office, then you can use a ® symbol.

If she tries using a ® symbol before actually receiving approval, at a minimum that could prevent her from receiving approval, at maximum a competitor could find this out and steal the mark to get it registered themselves.

For placement and sizing, no rule really. I place them to the top right or bottom right of the logo. I’d advice against trying to incorporate/hide the ® inside of the logo as you will run into issues at some point along the way.


I think @CraigB is right. There’s no legal requirements associated with it. The ® just serves notice that logo is registered as a legal trademark. Similarly, a TM symbol serves notice that the logo is claimed as a trademark without it being registered.

I agree with @silence04 about not using the ® symbol prematurely. If the registration pending, it’s probably best to use the TM symbol as a claim-staking notice.

Then again, this borders on legal advice, which is something better asked of an attorney.

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@CraigB " I hate to see registered marks on logos, it makes them look cheaper."
Agreed, but if the client insists …?

@silence04 “sounds like she’s only submitted an application”
Actually she said she’s doing it this week. So she hasn’t even done that.

“It can take over a year to find out if a mark is either approved or rejected.”
Oh snap really?

Thanks guys, I will advise her against it. If she demands it though, this can’t come back on me, right?

If it was me, there’d be an amendment to the contract noting the disagreement and indemnifying me. And she’d have to initial it before we proceed.

It simply needs to be legible and close enough to the “thing” that’s TM’d that it “clearly refers to it (the thing)”.

When it comes to “the lollipops,” as a sign guy, I hate them too.
When considering where to put said ™ or ® symbol, please please also consider your sign blank, the thing you’d put the logo on if was on a board on the wall.

“Lollipop?” you ask? Well… with a 3 D logo we have to make a round blob on a post to make the symbol substrate. If the sign happens to be free-floating text, it sometimes has to stick into the side of a letter if it can’t be tied back to the wall. So yeah, a symbol on a stick=lollipop.

Corporate Logo Police are touchy about such things being missing if it is part of their policy to include it. If working with established brands, read the brand guidelines.

What silence04 said. If it’s not officially registered, you should use the TM symbol, not the reg mark. Most good fonts will include these symbols among their glyphs, but if you’re stuck picking a font for it, I’d just go with something super-simple like Helvetica or even Arial. The font also may or may not ‘superscript’ the glyph automatically, but I’ll often superscript it even more, particularly if it’s being used within in a headline.

One thing that really bakes my cookies - a reg symbol or copyright or a TM to the right and then the logo is centred - but with that small symbol the logo is off to the left. I always add equivalent blank space to the left so when I centre it the actual logo is still centred.

Update: this client asked me to leave off the registered symbol because it turned out to be more expensive than they thought.
So now I don’t have to worry about it, yay!

Even better.

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