The TM symbol is able to be used in connection with your business’s unregistered trade marks (including logos and names). There is no requirement that you register your trade mark with IP Australia to use the TM symbol.
What is an unregistered trade mark?
At its core, an unregistered trade mark is a is a mark or name used to distinguish your business that has not been registered with IP Australia. Please be aware that registering your business name with ASIC does not mean you have a registered trade mark.
Do I have to use a TM symbol?
There is no legal requirement to put a TM symbol on your unregistered trade marks. Opting not to use a TM symbol does not inherently weaken the strength of your business’s unregistered trade mark. However, choosing not to use the TM symbol may enable a third party to claim innocent infringement in certain circumstances.
Why would my business use the TM symbol?
It may be beneficial to denote a TM sign on your business’s unregistered trade marks as it can be an effective way of showing third parties that you are serious about enforcing your common law intellectual property rights.
Where do I put the TM symbol?
If you elect to use the TM symbol, the most common place to place the symbol is in the top right-hand corner of the mark.
Can I use the (R) symbol?
Do not use the (R) symbol or the word ”registered” in connection with your business’s unregistered marks. These symbols can only be used once a trade mark is registered with IP Australia. Using either of these symbols without registration is considered an offence under the Trade Marks Act with a penalty of 60 penalty units.
Just like with the TM symbol, there is no requirement for a registered trade mark holder to use the (R) symbol in connection with their registered trade marks. Registered trade mark holders may even elect to still use the TM symbol in connection with their registered trade mark.
If you would like to discuss increasing your business’s intellectual property rights protection strategy, please feel free to contact our commercial team on 5434 6666 or 5472 1588.