When writing an academic essay, if I was to reference Microsoft or Facebook, should I write Microsoft™, Microsoft® or just Microsoft? What is the difference?


There is nothing wrong with Chris' answer, but I'd like to add two things.

First, (c) (from the title of the question) or more accurately ©, is copyright, which is not used with company or service names. So you would never write Facebook©, although if appropriate you may write © Facebook.

Second, ® - as I am sure you are aware, but adding it for completeness, trademarks can be registered with other bodies too, particularly outside of the US. For example, in Sweden, you would register with the Patent and Trademark Office (PRV). For EU-wide protection, the European Patent Office should be a good place to start. And so on.


It depends on the style guide you are using. APA format (and I believe Chicago) specify not using TM or R in the text. I suspect that most style guides say the same.

TM = trademark, which a company (or anyone else) can use without a registration with the government. It provides some common law protection.

R = registered trademark, which means they've been granted the trademark with the US Patent and Trademark office.

  • Thank you, I was under the impression that TM was only for the use of their logos and that TM would refer to an identification marking of some sort. – IEnumerable Nov 23 '12 at 2:17
  • I'm not sure why my answer wasn't good enough, given that it answered both of your questions, but the above information on (c) is correct. (c) Facebook is an entirely different issue than TM or R, the first... the latter two refer to the term Facebook (and the logotype), the former refers to a product that is owned by Facebook. Facebook (tm) is about the logo and logotype; @ Facebook would be about, for example, their documentation, etc. – Chris Nov 28 '12 at 15:58
  • Hi Chris, there was nothing wrong with either answer, personally I felt that the extension added by Michael helped clarify for me specifically for me. In this circumstance its difficult for me to know who gets the "tik" I voted both answers up. :) And thankyou for contributing to my question. – IEnumerable Dec 7 '12 at 1:56

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