Using the ® and ™ Symbols in Australia
In Australia, there are two important symbols used to identify trade marks. It is important to know when, why and how to use them correctly.
The ™ symbol is used with unregistered marks, when a business intends to claim a trade mark, or while its trade mark application is being processed by IP Australia.
The ® symbol is used once your mark has been registered as a trade mark by IP Australia. You should not use the ® symbol in connection with a mark that is unregistered in Australia as this is an offence under the Trade Marks Act and attracts a penalty of 60 penalty units i.e. $6,600.
There is no legal requirement that you must use either the ™ or ® symbols to strengthen your trade mark. The symbols are used to put others on notice of your intellectual property right in a particular mark, and stave off innocent trademark infringement, which cannot later be claimed as a defence where there is alleged infringement.
If you decide to display a symbol, it is important to make sure you are using the correct symbol. Placement of the symbol is not regulated by law, but it should be prominently displayed on your mark, name or logo, to ensure it is seen by competitors. Typically, the symbol is placed on the upper right-hand side of the name, word or logo.
Whilst there is no legal requirement to do so, it is important to consider using a ™ or ® symbol to protect your brand. If you decide to display a symbol, make sure you use it correctly to avoid breaking the law.
If you would like help in obtaining registration of your trade mark or would like further information on trade mark matters, please contact us. We offer fixed fee prices on all trade mark services. We would be happy to assist you.