When Should You Use the “TM” or “®” symbols?

If you claim rights to use a mark, you may use the “TM” (trademark) or “SM” (service mark) symbol to alert the public to your claim of a “common-law” mark.  No registration is necessary to use a “TM” or “SM” symbol and those symbols put people on notice that you claim rights in the mark.  You may only use the federal registration symbol “®” after the USPTO actually registers a mark.