To alert the public to your claim to common law rights in a mark, you may (but are not required to) use the “TM” (trade mark) or “SM” (service mark) designation, regardless of whether you have filed an application for federal trademark protection. You may use the federal registration symbol “®” only after the USPTO issues official registration of your mark upon successful prosecution of your trademark application. Asserting trademark rights will not normally affect the ability of others to factually discuss your product/service or research in publications and media. A trademark owner typically can only prevent others from “using the trademark” as a trademark in commerce. Contact your Technology Manager and the Copyright/Trademark Manager with questions.