Trade mark symbols
Trade mark symbols are a good way to indicating you have a trade mark that represents your business. There are a number of varieties with the main two outlined below. However there are certain requirements to allow the use of them which you need to be certain of before use.
The most used symbol is the ® symbol which indicates your mark is registered. It is not compulsory to use this symbol but it is a strong indicator to others that your mark is registered and has protection from infringement. The registration of the mark does not have to be through the Trade Marks Act 1994 in the UK but it does have to be registered somewhere in the world. Under Section 95 of the Trade Marks Act 1994, the use of the registered symbol ® on a mark that is not registered anywhere in the world is prohibited. The default position of this symbol in relation to the mark is on the right hand side raised to the top right corner, normally in a smaller font than the mark itself.
If you have not registered your mark but you still want to use a symbol to indicate you use the sign as a trade mark, the ‘TM’ symbol can be used. This is normally indicated at the end of the mark, slightly raised. This is a general symbol which does not require any form of registration therefore there is no legal impact of using it on any unregistered mark.
If you are in doubt, do not use the ® symbol without reassurance your mark is registered. If you feel this would be beneficial to your mark, however, get in contact The Trademarkroom to start the process of registration.
By Ellis Sweetenham