Trademark & Copyright Symbols

The small symbols that accompany logos, text, images and other material can be confusing to some people who are not familiar with what they mean or stand for. These symbols have different meanings and are used for different purposes.

The copyright symbol is known as a small c which is circled. It is used in copyright notices and is displayed before the name of the organisation or person, followed by the year in which the copyright came into existence. The copyright symbol used for sound recordings is a capital letter P surrounded by a circle. Although it is not legally required to always use a copyright symbol, it is advisable to include one to avoid other people copying your work.

A trademark symbol is the text TM written in capital letters and is inserted directly after the slogan, logo, sign or drawing. The trademark symbol is written is superscript. This simply means that is it slightly smaller than regular text and is displayed a little higher. The use of a trademark symbol does not necessarily mean that the work has been registered as a registered  It is not mandatory to register a trademark before using it, although it is highly advised to do so. One should make use of a reputable company like Trademark24 that will do a trademark search so that you can register your trademark and rest assured that it is not being used by someone else.

The registered trademark symbol is a capital R in a circle, and is also displayed directly after the registered trademark in superscript. The registered trademark symbol can only be used if the trademark has indeed been registered.

Using this symbol when a trademark has not been registered is a criminal offence.