Once your trade mark is registered, you need to ensure you use it correctly in order to maintain and protect your rights in your trade mark.

Things to remember:

  • Once your mark is registered, always use it with the R symbol wherever your trade mark appears.  This includes packaging, websites, social media, brochures etc.  For pending marks, you should use the TM symbol.
  • Never use your mark descriptively. If you do, you risk your trade mark becoming the name consumers use for the product type, rather than a specific brand.  For example, it is incorrect to say “Can you pass me a Kleenex”, the correct way to say it is “Can you pass me a tissue”.
  • Always use your mark as an adjective and not a noun.  For example, you would refer to “Buy an Apple computer” but not “Buy an Apple”.
  • Use your mark as it is registered.  For example, if your mark is registered as a plural mark, never use it as a singular (and vice versa!).  Eg. “Starbucks” and not “a Starbuck”.
  • Never use your trade mark in the possessive form.  For example, you would never say “Twix’s new chocolate bar”, it is correct to say “The new Twix chocolate bar”.
  • Be consistent with how you refer to your trade mark.  For example, if you register your mark as two words, don’t use it as one word in some instances.
  • Where possible, always differentiate your mark in text by using either the R symbol, or bold, or italics, or underline, or caps.  This way, people will know it is a trade mark and that it is important to you.

Be vigilant for any misuse of your mark by third parties and always take steps to defend your mark such as sending cease and desist letters.

Please contact any of the team to help you with any questions about the correct use of your trade mark or if you need to defend your mark.