• International Trademark

What’s the difference between “TM” and “R”?


There is a way to distinguish between an unregistered trademark and a registered trademark by looking at a company’s logo. Just like the copyright symbol (©) for published work and the produced symbol (â„—) for recordings, the registered symbol (®) next to a trademark indicates that it is protected by the intellectual property laws.


Unregistered Trademark

There is no law that requires a company to register its trademark. This means that you can use a brand or logo to market your goods and/or services, but you cannot use the registered symbol (®). Instead, you should use the symbol for trademark (™) next to an unregistered trademark.

The drawbacks of using an unregistered trademark include not being able to enjoy the intellectual property and civil law benefits. If another company uses a similar trademark, your company cannot file for charges because there is no proof that you own the trademark. Moreover, there is a possibility that another company can prevent you from using your trademark because of infringement. If they have registered their trademark, then the law recognizes that they are the owners of the trademark, not your company. There is a provision, however, that still offers protection for unregistered trademarks under common law but these are limited and will not guarantee that you have options for limiting infringement.


Registered Trademark

Only a registered trademark can use the registered symbol (®) next to its brand or logo. It is an indication that the trademark is protected by the common laws, as well as the goods and/or services that it represents. The symbol may be used as a deterrent for other parties from using that symbol, sort of like a warning sign for other traders. It gives the company a better chance of remedies for infringement such as criminal penalties and damages from those who copy or imitate your trademark for their own benefit/

Investing in a registered trademark means investing in your company’s image, which is considered a property and an asset. After all, the brand is the first thing that most customers will be familiar of when dealing with your goods and/or services. A registered mark with the ® symbol is associated with reliability and high quality.