A trade mark communicates your brand and businesses identity to the public, and acts as a strong marketing tool that shows clients and consumers who you are.

You can help the public identify your trade mark by using the ™ and ® symbol after your trade mark:

  • on products
  • in advertisements
  • in publications such as magazines and articles
  • whenever your trade mark is used

However, it is important to note the difference between the ™ and ® symbol.

What is the TM symbol?

Generally, to advertise what your trade mark is, you can use the ™ symbol after your trade mark at any point in time in any country. Using the ™ symbol helps the public recognise and remember your business.

What is the ® symbol?

You can only use the ® symbol once your trade mark is registered and in the country that your trade mark is registered.

You can use the symbol if your trade mark is registered overseas and not in Australia, however you are required to show the country of registration close to it.

Although it is legal to use the TM symbol without registration, it is an offense if the ® symbol is used without a registered trade mark. The Australian Federal Police, Customs Border Patrol or Intellectual Property Specialists deal with infringements of this nature and can be utilised if you require legal aid in such circumstances.

What does a Registered Trade Mark Give Me?

Once your trade mark is registered you are legally able to enforce your trade mark rights and actively stop others from using your trade mark and trade marks that are deceptively similar to your registered trade mark.

Without trade mark registration, you are vulnerable to other businesses using your trade mark to see their goods and services.

Seeking legal advice through an Intellectual Property Specialist is a highly effective way of understanding your trade mark and remaining in the know about the status of your intellectual property.