Trademark Symbols: Where Should I Place Them?

In our previous article, we talked about the use of trademark symbols and when individuals and businesses should begin using them to claim their marks.

It will also be important for us to discuss where trademark symbols should be placed next to your name, brand or logo.

Where Should I Place the Trademark Symbol?

Trademark symbols are commonly placed at the top right or bottom right of a name, brand or logo. Although these placements are most typical, businesses should know that there is no requirement as to where trademark symbols should be positioned. More importantly, trademark symbols should be placed closely to the name, brand or logo – clear enough for third parties to acknowledge your mark as your intellectual property, but not too distracting as to take attention away from your name, brand or logo.

Subscript Placement

A common way in which trademark symbols are incorporated in the look of a name, brand or logo is to place it to the lower right of the registered mark. Subscript placements of trademark symbols are as illustrated below:

trademark logo example 1

Superscript Placement

Trademark symbols are also regularly positioned on the upper right of the name, brand or logo. Superscript placements of trademark symbols are illustrated below:

trademark logo example 4

What if I have trademarked my name but not my logo, or vice versa?

You are only able to use certain trademark symbols for registered trademarks, namely ®. For example, a registered mark would appear as Star®. Should you wish to use your logo or design next to your trademarked name, you must ensure your logo or design has been registered as a trademark too. The following example by sportswear company Reebok signals to third party competitors clearly that not only the name ‘Reebok’ has been registered as a trademark, but also its accompanying design:

trademark logo example 3

If your logo or design has yet to be trademarked, you may use other symbols to claim your mark, but not the ® symbol. For example: Star®☆™. You may also use no trademark symbols after the star logo.

The same deduction applies to a situation in which a name has yet to be trademarked, but a logo or design has.

The Trademark Symbol Does Not Fit the Look of my Brand

Whilst there are no requirements as to where trademark symbols should be placed, trademark symbols are meant to indicate to third parties that you are serious about protecting and enforcing your intellectual property rights and therefore trademark symbols should be obvious to the eye. It may be a concern to businesses however, that trademark symbols affect the look, vibe and feel of the name, brand or logo.

It must be emphasised that it is not mandatory to place trademark symbols in the upper or lower right of your name, brand or logo – businesses hoping to streamline and maximise the aesthetic potential of their name, brand or logo may fit trademark symbols into their respective marks in the position that best suits them.

Businesses may also use the dagger symbol † near the mark in combination with footnotes to indicate to third parties of their protected trademarks. For example, the footnote for Star† may read:

‘Star and the star logo are registered trademarks of Star Sdn Bhd.’

When Should I Use the Trademark Symbol?

It is recommended to use trademark symbols, especially registered trademark symbols in connection to all relevant registered marks. However, businesses should keep in mind that trademark symbols should only be used with the registered mark as to indicate specific goods or services registered to the mark. For example, in advertisements and brochures. There isn’t a need for trademark symbols under the circumstances of correspondences, such as emails and letters, even if the company name, brand or logo is in use.

Learn more about trademark laws and Intellectual Property Protection at Quality Oracle. We are proud of our 28 years of professional experience in Intellectual Property and we are ready to defend your IP rights in Malaysia and internationally: anything, anytime, anywhere.