®, Registered vs. TM, Trademark
The TM or SM symbol is to be used for marks that either have a pending trademark applicationclaiming the rights to the mark.
The ® symbol is to be used for marks that have a Federally registered trademark.
Trademarks can be names of products or services, logos, slogans, packaging and even sounds and smells. In essence, a trademark can be almost anything that is used to identify a particular product or service. Registering a trademark grants the owner exclusive rights to the mark within the specified industry. Of course, it's necessary to research the mark comprehensively
Proper Use of the Symbols:
You can freely use the TM or SM symbol while your application is pending OR if you're simply claiming the rights to the name. Sometimes these symbols are governed by local or state laws so it may be best to double check. But more often than not, you're free to use it.
The ® symbol should only be used once you've received your Federal trademark registration. The typical placement for these symbols is in the right-hand corner/to the right of your name and/or logo. For instance, TradeMark Express ® or as displayed on our home page: