How should I indicate I have protected my intellectual property?

Now you have gone through the time consuming but completely worth it process of protecting your intellectual property whether this is through registration or acknowledgement, you need to ensure the world knows you are serious about IP.

A way to do this is by marking your IP with the correct symbols that show any person who looks at your intellectual property whether it be a trade mark or a patent that it is protected by you and you are not afraid to take action if this protection is infringed.

It is important however to use the correct mark. You cannot use a symbol that indicates a product has been registered for IP protection if it has not. This could lead to detrimental consequences for yourself and your business.

There are a number of symbols you can use depending on the type of IP you have:

Trade marks

If you have a registered trade mark you can attach the symbol ® which tells any one viewing your mark that is has been registered with the UK intellectual Property Office. It also gives a clear warning to any potential counterfeiters


If you are a photographer, writer or artist, the best way to indicate that copyright protection lies in your work is by using the © symbol along with the date of creation and the owners name. This is not compulsory but gives a clear message to those viewing your work. As copyright is not registrable in the UK, it is a good way to show you are serious about protecting your rights. It also allows anyone who is looking to use your work, to get in contact to discuss arrangements.

You can also use the ℗ if you are looking to protect your copyright in any sound recordings. This symbol is sometimes mistakenly seen as an indication of a patent.


While there is no specific symbol to indicate that you have applied for or have been granted a patent, you can use the phrasing ‘patent pending’ or ‘patent applied for’ as well as citing the patent number and the country in which it was registered when you have been granted protection.


Again there is no symbol available to be applied. However, the wording ‘registered’ can be put on your design as well as any registered design number that is relevant.

No matter what IP you have, it is important to be proactive when you are looking to protect it.

If you’d like to know more about this article please send an email to Michael Coyle quoting the article title and any questions you might have, alternatively call the office number on 02380 235 979 or send an enquiry through our contact form.

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