IP symbols – are you clear what these mean?

A reminder of the different symbols you may see all relating to intellectual property, make sure you are in the know!


The above symbol is in respect of copyright protection. Copyright is a form of intellectual property which protected the expression of an idea. This expression can be in the form of a literary, musical, dramatic or artistic work. Copyright protection arises automatically once the work is created and doesn’t require registration.

Therefore as there is no registration number, it is important that you put others on notice that the work is protected by copyright and you are the owner of such copyright protection.


The above symbol represents a registered trade mark. This symbol can be affixed to a brand name or logo once it has registered. It is an offence to affix this symbol to a brand which has not been officially registered and therefore it is important you wait until the registration process is completed and you have received a registration certificate before you add the symbol to your brand.


Often confused with the ® symbol, the TM does not have any legal standing. This is an informal mark used by businesses who want to highlight to others that certain phrases or images are being used as part of their branding and they want to put others on notice of this. There is no requirement to use this symbol.


This symbol is used in the USA, not commonly in the UK and is to represent a service mark. This is in distinction to a trade mark. In the US, a service mark is used in respect of services and a trade mark is used in respect of goods.


At present, there is no symbol to indicate a product or invention that is protected by a patent. However, this isn’t to say its less important to make people aware that a patent is in place. It is common practice to add the word ‘Patented’ to a product or invention, as well as an indication of the patent registration number and/or details of your ownership.


If you need any assistance in respect of your IP, please do not hesitate to get in touch with the team today!

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