Trademark Symbols Explained: How to Shield Your Brand

24 03 2024

The essence of a brand lies within its trademark. Trademarks can include various elements such as letters, numbers, words, phrases, sounds, smells, shapes, and logos. These elements collectively grant your brand its distinct identity. Registering your trademark safeguards your brand against infringement by competitors offering similar goods or services. Trademark symbols are important in doing this.

The Significance of the ® Symbol

The ® symbol denotes trademarks that have been officially registered. In Australia, this symbol is exclusively used for trademarks that have achieved registration status within the country. It is also applicable to trademarks registered internationally, provided the country of registration is clearly indicated alongside the ® symbol. Using the ® symbol for a trademark that has not been registered is a legal offence.

The Flexibility of the ™ Symbol

The ™ symbol offers more flexibility and can be applied to any trademark, registered or not, without legal consequences. Although not registering your trademark may introduce complexities and potential expenses in its protection, unregistered trademarks still retain certain rights. Protections under the Competition and Consumer Act 2010, along with state-based fair trading laws, may offer some level of protection but nothing close to what a registered trademark can offer you.

There is no mandatory legal obligation to force your use of these symbols. Nevertheless, the strategic display of the ® symbol alongside a registered trademark serves as a clear warning to competitors and potential infringements. The act of displaying the ® symbol not only highlights your commitment to protecting your brand. Given that your trademark constitutes the most valuable asset of your business, investing in its protection is essential.

To get trademark protection today contact Cooper Mills.

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