The Trademark Symbol
Trade Mark™ | Registered Trade Mark ®
The trademark symbol for unregistered trademarks is designated by the letters TM written in superscript style. In practice it will look like this: Product™ . It is used directly after the logo, mark, or slogan that is not registered. When a trademark is registered with the specific trademark office you will see an “R” in superscript surrounded by a circle after the logo, name or slogan. It will look like this: Product ®. There is a proper procedure for displaying the trademark as described and companies frequently issue statements on the Internet regarding the appropriate and allowable usage and display of their trademark by another entity even in referencing the trademark.
Examples of Trade Marks:
Name, Slogan, Logo, Shapes, Sounds / Tunes, Tastes, Textures, Three-dimensional Marks, Colors, Holograms, Motions / Multimedia, Positions, Gestures, Olfactory (smells / scents).
It is advisable that the trademark be searched before the application is made. We can conduct searches through the records at the South African Trade marks Office. This will provide an indication of whether there are existing trademarks which are identical or similar to yours. Foreign trademark searches may also be conducted, should you wish to have a search conducted through the trade mark offices of foreign countries. A search has to be conducted to make sure there is no similar or identical trade mark on the register preventing the registration of your trademark.
There is no such thing as an International Trademark
Various international agreements make it possible to file a single logo registration in more than one country:
BOIP (Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands)
Community Trademark (European Union)
Madrid Agreement (97 Contracting Parties)
OAPI (17 French speaking member states in Africa)
ARIPO (19 English speaking member states in Africa)
You should file a trademark in the countries in which you offer your products or services and you should also consider filing in countries where you intend to use the mark in the future, but some countries do have use requirements. It is highly recommended that you contact trade mark attorneys to assist you with filing and registering your trade mark. Trade mark attorneys will not only advise you on the best way to ensure that your trade marks are properly protected, but will also deal with all the formalities on your behalf, making the process as effective as possible.