When Can I Use the ® or TM Symbols On My Trademarks?
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The TM means ‘trademark’. Anyone can use TM in conjunction with their brand or trademark. For example, the brand name ‘Acacia Law’ can be used with TM in any country, whether or not the name Acacia Law is registered as a trademark in that particular country.
You can use the TM in relation to a registered or unregistered trademark. Using TM does not give you any legal rights, but it does serve the useful purpose of putting people on notice that you are using the name or logo as a trademark.
The ®, or registered trademark symbol, can only be used in relation to a trademark, which is registered.
For example, if you have the trademark BOOMERANG registered for, say books in Australia, you could use the trademark BOOMERANG with the registered trademark symbol ® on books in Australia. But you cannot use the registered trademark symbol ® with the word BOOMERANG on books in any other country, unless you also have ‘boomerang’ registered as a trade mark in that other country.
So if you wanted to export your BOOMERANG books to New Zealand, you would need to make sure that the registered trademark symbol ® was removed from the any books or advertising material, or first register the brand name BOOMERANG in New Zealand before using that symbol. You do not have to use the ™ or ® symbols with your trademarks.
It is a criminal offence in most countries to use the ® registered trademark symbol, in respect of goods or services for which the trademark is not actually registered in that particular country.
Deciding To Use the Trademark (TM) or Registered Trademark ® Symbol
You can use your trademarks without these symbols. If your trademark is registered, you can choose to use either of these symbols, but not both. If your trademark is not registered, you can only use the ™ symbol. If you are in doubt as to whether your brand or trademark is registered in Australia or New Zealand, why not e-mail the friendly folks at Acacia Law on TM@AcaciaLaw.com and we’ll look it up for you?
For more information on trademarks, patents, copyright, or other intellectual property law topics, please check our website, www.AcaciaLaw.com.