There is often confusion in using trademark symbols. Each of them has a specific meaning and must be used in different moments of the brand’s life.
The symbol ™ (TM)
The symbol ™ (TM) can be used when a trademark application has been filed and you can continue using it until you have received confirmation of the registration.
This symbol informs that the application is waiting for the registration. The symbol TM can also simply denote the use of a sign as a trademark, even in the absence of a specific application for registration.
Much time can be necessary in order to obtain registration, especially in case of complaints by third parties. As a result, the use of the symbol TM informs everyone, particularly who is interested in such information, that an application for the registration of such trademark exists or that, even if a trademark application has not been filed, the sign is used.
In Italy it is not mandatory the use of the symbol ™.
The symbol ®
The symbol ® can be used when the trademark has been registered. This symbol informs that a trademark registration exists.
In Italy it is not mandatory to use this symbol, but it can be mandatory in other States, therefore we suggest you to get in touch with an IP consultant if you wish to register your trademark abroad!!
The symbol ©
The symbol ©, instead, does not concern registered trademarks! It is the copyright symbol and it is applied in reference to contents (text, sound, visual and other) owned by third parties and indicates, in fact, the existence of a copyright on such contents. For further information on this subject, please make reference to the section of the “copyright”, where we examine in detail many items and curiosities on this subject.
Other symbols in the world
In the United States of America, it is possible to find the symbol SM, which stands for service mark. When the marks’ owner provides services, it will use SM instead of TM.