Tag Archives: trademark application

The Difference Between ™ and ® Trademark Symbols

Category: Trademark Information

Business owners often get confused between the ™ and ® trademark symbols and their meanings, but there is a BIG difference between them.

What is the difference between ™ and ® trademark symbols? Do I have to use either?

‘TM’ stands for Trade Mark.

This symbol can indicate that you have a pending application for the brand, or you are claiming some rights in the name without trademark registration. Businesses use this symbol to indicate protection of a brand, but that protection is not ownership and is often misleading. It can be a useful tool to show your competitors you have at least thought of trademark protection, but if it came down to a challenge, you would not have the full rights of a registered trademark.

‘R’ stands for registered.

The R registered trademark symbol

The ® symbol, on the other hand, indicates the trademark is registered and the owner has exclusive rights to the mark.

Using this symbol means you are serious about your brand and can take action against a competitor who likes your great brand and thinks it would be good for his or her business too!

Don’t misuse the ™ and ® trademark symbols

It is also important to know the difference, and that the use of this symbol without actually having the brand registered as a trademark is misleading and deceptive; if challenged, severe penalties can be imposed for misuse of the trademark symbols. I would highly recommend that you don’t take the risk of being caught using this symbol if you don’t actually have a trademark registration for the particular brand. There is no legal requirement to use either symbol. But if you are serious about your brand and value it, it is a natural progression to have it registered and then use the ® symbol. Using that symbol lets your competitors know you value the brand and could take action against them, including suing for trademark infringement.

Trademark TIPS:

  • If your trademark is registered in the relevant country, use the ® symbol on all your advertising.
  • If your trademark is not registered in the relevant country, use the ™ symbol.

What Is A Trademark?

Category: Trademark Information

A trademark can be a word or words, phrases, symbols, designs, or a combination of these elements, to identify and distinguish the goods or services of one party from those of another.

In everyday life you will know and use many examples of each of these types of brands:


The owners of these brands know the value of trademark registration so that competitors can’t copy their branding without the owner being able to sue for infringement. They also understand that these brands are valuable assets to their businesses.

What Can You Trademark?

Trademarks can also be smells, sounds, non-English words, numbers and even musical jingles.

You have probably noticed how people are attracted to famous brands, and how those brands can cut across borders, cultures and languages, so that what might originate in one part of the world can be used and recognised on the other side of the world.

Some of those brands are Apple, McDonald’s and Revlon. When someone talks about any of these brands, you instantly know whether they represent products or services you are willing to pay a certain price for.

Trademarks can be used on products and services, and often on a combination of those.

As far as the public is concerned, trademarks help prevent confusion in the marketplace, so that a purchaser can make a decision to purchase a product or service based on what they know of the brand or what they have heard or read about the brand.

From a business owner’s perspective, this is of huge value – because often a purchaser is willing to pay a premium to purchase the ‘must have’ brand.

TIP: Check with a trademark specialist on whether your brand can be registered as a trademark – don’t assume anything

Is One Trademark Enough? Should I Register My Brand In Multiple Categories?

Category: Trademark Information

Whether you’re business is in the set-up stages or has been established for some time, if you’re thinking about trademarks, you already know that the main reason businesses use them is for protection.

After all, your business is more than your livelihood; it’s also your “baby”. Something that you’ve thought about, spent time and effort on (and that’s probably created some heartaches for you along the way). But like parents, as a business owner, you want to protect this precious “asset” and so just as you would your life, home, car or other valuable possessions, protecting your business name or brands is a sensible step. Protection of your business comes in the form of a trademark registration.

Of course, trademarking your business isn’t quite as simple as filling out a form and submitting an application to the relevant Government department. It’s much more complex than that, and there are different elements associated with registering your trademark to consider. For example, what exactly are you trademarking? Is it just the name? or is it a name and logo? an image? a colour? You need to know what categories for the industries you are applying for (and where your protection actually lies). That is exactly why doing your homework upfront is important, and why seriously considering engaging a trademark specialist is a great idea. Getting it right the first time is critical and will save you money in the long run.

Different and Multiple Categories

When filing for a trademark, you are going to find that there are many different categories for which your trademark needs to be entered and considered. These trademarks are going to vary, depending on the kind of information, product or business you run. Some trademarks revolve around clothing, while other trademarks are centered on a service. There are 45 categories of products and services and you need to consider which one or more is right for the particular brand you want to protect. This way, should you produce an item in a specific category, other individuals are not able to use the same trademarked name in that category. However, it also means another company is able to use the trademark information in a different unrelated category. For example, once a business trademarks a specific name for a clothes line, another clothing or even fabric based company is not able to take the same name. On the other hand, a company is able to use the same name if it has nothing to do with fabric or clothing and is not going to be confused with the original trademark holder, such as a plumbing company or a window installation company. These all fall into different categories, which is why having your trademark filed in the appropriate category is so important for your business.


With so many areas to consider in terms of registration, the format of your business brand is also very important. When you look at your logo, you might have an image or you might have words with the image. These different formats require consideration and a strategy for protection. Now, you probably know the kind of information you really want to trademark and what is important to your business more than anyone else. However, with all of the different variables that are so important in the trademarking process, you probably really do not know what formats you might need during this process. All of this can be identified with the help of a trade mark specialist and the kind of trade mark application your business needs.

Future Growth and Expansion

While it might be difficult to look down the road and envision your company as a multi-international corporation as you spread to every corner of the globe, it can’t hurt to dream and plan. Just because you are not going to actually be pursuing international business right away doesn’t mean it’s something that you shouldn’t consider. When you trademark your business name, images and other information in Australia, you have the potential to protect it internationally as well. Once an application is filed in Australia, you have a window of opportunity to file in another country for up to six months and claim the Australian filing date. This way, while you might be a year or to away from international growth, it doesn’t mean you can’t dream big and prepare to conquer the world one day!

So it’s great that you’re planning ahead, but the choices you make today about your trademark application will set your business up for longer term protection and success. So if you want it done right the first time, give Suzanne Harrington from Pinnacle TMS a call today on 02 95204366 or 0425 588 867 or complete the form below and Suzanne will give you a call to discuss how she can help set your trademark application up for success.