How to Type and Use Copyright and Trademark Symbols

How to make the protection marks for brands, works of art

Sign sketch copyright

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It's not required to use trademark and copyright symbols in a design or copy to guarantee or safeguard your legal rights. However, many artists and businesses prefer to include these marks in print and external use.

Sign, Sketch, Copyright?

There are many ways to display trademark and copyright symbols depending on the computer platform you use. In addition to checking that the symbol is used correctly, you may want to fine-tune the symbols for the best visual appearance.

Not all computers are alike, therefore, the symbols, , ©, and ® may appear different in some browsers. Some of these symbols may not appear correctly depending on the fonts installed on the computer.

Here's how to use each of these symbols and how to access them on Mac computers, Windows PCs, and in HTML.

Trademark

A trademark identifies the brand owner of a particular product or service. The symbol, ™, represents the word trademark and means that the brand is a trademark not registered with a recognizing body, such as the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

A trademark can establish precedence for the use of a brand or service first on the market. However, to have better legal standing and the protection of the trademark being established, the trademark should be registered.

To create the trademark () symbol:

  • On a Mac computer, type Option+2.
  • On a Windows PC, enable Num Lock, press and hold Alt, then use the numeric keypad on the keyboard to type 0153. Or, type Character Map in the Windows search box, then select a copyright or trademark symbol in any font.
  • In programming for the web using HTML, enter ™ (ampersand, pound sign, 0153, semi-colon — all with no spaces).

When placed correctly, the trademark symbol is superscripted. If you prefer to create your own trademark symbols, type the letters T and M then apply the superscript style.

Registered Trademark

The registered trademark symbol, ®, is a symbol that provides notice that the preceding word or symbol is a trademark or service mark that has been registered with a national trademark office. In the U.S., it is considered fraud and is against the law to use the registered trademark symbol for a mark that is not officially registered in any country.

To create the registered trademark (®) symbol:

  • On a Mac computer, type Option+R.
  • On a Windows PC, enable Num Lock, press and hold Alt, then use the numeric keypad on the keyboard to type 0174. Or, type Character Map in the Windows search box then select a copyright or trademark symbol in any font.
  • In programming for the web using HTML, enter ® (ampersand, pound sign, 0174, semi-colon — all with no spaces).

The correct presentation of the mark would be the circled R registered trademark symbol, ®, displayed on the baseline or superscripted, which is raised slightly and reduced in size.

Copyright

Copyright is a legal right created by the law of a country that grants the creator of an original work exclusive rights for its use and distribution. This is usually only for a limited time. A major limitation on copyright is that copyright protects only the original expression of ideas and not the underlying ideas themselves. 

Copyright is a form of intellectual property, applicable to certain forms of creative work such as books, poems, plays, songs, paintings, sculptures, photographs, and computer programs.

To create the copyright (©) symbol:

  • On a Mac computer, type Option+G.
  • On a Windows PC, enable Num Lock, press and hold Alt, then use the numeric keypad on the keyboard to type 0169. Or, type Character Map in the Windows search box and select a copyright or trademark symbol in any font.
  • In programming for the web using HTML, enter © (ampersand, pound sign, 0169, semi-colon — all with no spaces).

In some font sets, the copyright symbol may need to be reduced in size to keep from appearing oversized next to the adjacent text. If certain copyright symbols don't appear or display incorrectly, check the font. Some fonts may not have these copyright symbols mapped to the same position. For copyright symbols that appear superscripted, reduce their size by 55% to 60% of the text size.

The correct presentation of the mark is the circled C copyright symbol, ©, displayed on the baseline, and not superscripted. To make a copyright symbol rest on the baseline, match the size to the x-height of the font.

Although often used on the web and in print, the (c) symbol — c in parentheses — is not a legal substitute for the © copyright symbol.

The circled P copyright symbol, ℗, ​used primarily for sound recordings, is not standard in most fonts. It can be found in some specialty fonts or extended characters sets.