® is the registered trademark symbol, which is printed in conjunction with a trademark (such as a brand name, logo or slogan), when said trademark has been registered with a central authority. Example: ""John put a bottle of Coca-Cola® into the fridge." Apparently this is done in order to show that the trademark in question is protected by law, so don't mess with it!

Compare with , which is a somewhat weaker trademark protection, whose authority originates from the holder of the trademark itself.

What if I could successfully register ® as a trademark? Anyone who used ® would have to put a little superscript ® after it, thus: ®®. But that little ® symbol would in turn require to be marked properly as a registered trademark. Since no-one can print an infinite succession of infinitesimal symbols, everyone who used the ® symbol in print would infringe on my trademark! This could have either of these outcomes (or both):

  1. Everyone would stop sprinkling their text with those annoying ® symbols.
  2. I could sue everyone, and become very, very rich.

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