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Thursday, 1 December 2011

What is the Difference between a ‘TM’ and an ®?

What is the Difference between a ‘TM’ and an ®?

Essentially a ‘TM’ means nothing.

It has no legal standing and is merely an indication that the user sees the mark as its trade mark.

The (r) symbol however indicates that the mark is registered and should only be used when this is in fact the case.
Many trade mark owners still choose to use the ‘TM’ despite having a registered mark. This is primarily for two reasons; 1) it can sometimes suit the look of the mark better; and 2) it could be argued that the perception amongst the average consumer is that the ‘TM’ symbol means a registered trade mark and therefore it holds more weight than a (r) the meaning of which is far less known.

You will notice than Orange use the ‘TM’ symbol in conjunction with its square orange trade mark, this is of course a registered trade mark.

Affixing the (r) on a trade mark which is not registered is an offence and can carry a large fine.

Jody Tsigarides

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