A Practical Guide to Trade Mark Use

What is a Trade Mark?

A trade mark is any word, name, logo, symbol, sound or even scent that identifies, and therefore distinguishes, the goods or services of one trader from another.

Trade marks are a valuable asset and allow a business to build valuable goodwill and reputation in their brand. They also provide a valuable link in the minds of consumers between a particular product and service and the quality provided by that trader.

Proper Use
  1. To prevent your valuable trade mark from falling into common use or becoming generic, certain easy to follow guidelines should be followed.
  2. Always use a trade mark as an adjective. Trade marks are adjectives not verbs or nouns and should be used as such.
  3. Use the correct symbol. If the trade mark is registered use ® if not use ™.
  4. Uniform use – always use your trade mark in a uniform way to maximise distinctiveness, connection with consumers and value. It is best to use your trade mark in the one consistent way and keep your branding uniform.
  5. Differentiate your trade mark. Make it stand out from descriptive text or jargon and make it distinguishable from surrounding text by using it in capitals, bold or different fonts.

Following these practical tips will help you build more value in your brand.