What Does the ® Symbol Mean?
Your business’ intellectual property (IP) is one of its most important assets. This makes it vital that you protect it. One such way is to obtain a trade mark for your business’ assets. The two commonly used symbols to identify trade marks are the ™ symbol and the ® symbol. To help you understand the difference between these two symbols, this article will take you through what the ® symbol is and when you can use it.
What is the ® Symbol?
The ® symbol is the registered trade mark symbol. It is used alongside the word or symbol that has been registered with a trade mark, and it indicates trade mark registration. Additionally, this symbol is usually written in superscript style, meaning that it is set slightly above the baseline of an image or word. However, this is not a legal requirement.
Can I Use the ® Symbol?
You can use the registered trade mark symbol if you have registered your trade mark. However, using this symbol for an unregistered trade mark is an offence, which means that using it without registration may result in serious consequences.
Other Trade Mark Symbols
Another commonly used symbol associated with trade marks is the ™ symbol. This symbol, referred to as the trade mark symbol, can be found placed above a word or phrase. It is likely that you see this symbol everywhere – in stores, on television advertisements or on the labels of your favourite clothes.
However, this symbol does not necessarily mean that a product is a registered trade mark. Instead, it usually just means that the person using it considers their asset is eligible for registration.
How Do I Register a Trade Mark?
To be able to use the ® symbol, you will need to obtain a registered trade mark. The key steps to obtain a registered trade mark are:
1. Choose Your Trade Mark
The first step to register your trade mark is to choose your trade mark. Your trade mark can take many forms, including your brand name, logo, slogan or colours. Once you have chosen your trade mark, you will need to ensure that it is a strong trade mark. This includes ensuring that your trade mark is distinctive.
2. Select Your Trade Mark Class
When applying for a trade mark, you will need to select the relevant trade mark classes. Trade mark classes refer to the different categories of different goods or services that you can register your trade mark under. The trade mark classes you choose will determine the scope of your trade mark protection.
3. Conduct a Trade Mark Search
Conducting a trade mark search is an essential step in the trade mark registration process. A trade mark search will determine if your trade mark is available for your use. In Australia, you can conduct a trade mark class search on ATMOSS.
4. Apply for Trade Mark Registration
Once you have chosen your trade mark and determined that it is available for use, you should apply to register your trade mark. You will need to pay the trade mark application fee and submit the relevant information about your business and your trade mark itself.
Benefits of Using the ® Symbol
After registering your trade mark, there are a number of steps that you should take to ensure that you get the most out of your trade mark registration. One of these is using the registered trade mark symbol. Using the registered trade mark symbol serves as a deterrent to competitors. It shows that your trade mark is registered, which will prevent them from infringing on your trade mark rights. Another benefit of using the registered trade mark symbol is that it will attest to the legitimacy of your brand, which can, in turn, encourage business.
Once your trade mark is registered, there are several steps that you should take to ensure you get the most out of your trade marks. One of these steps includes using the registered trade mark symbol. Some of the benefits of using the registered trade mark symbol are that it can:
- serve as a deterrent to competitors; and
- attest to the legitimacy of your brand.
Frequently Asked Questions
The ® symbol is the registered trade mark symbol. It is used alongside a trade marked asset that has been registered to indicate trade mark registration. This symbol is only available for use for registered trade marks.
The registered trade mark symbol is reserved only for registered trade marks. It is an offence to use this symbol for an unregistered trade mark. Once your trade mark has been registered, you should use the ® symbol to deter infringement on your trade mark and to attract consumers by attesting to the legitimacy of your brand.