The Significance and Importance of Symbols that are found in Trademarks

01/29/2016

Often we find the presence of symbols ®, TM or SM alongside reproductions, but we do not know their meaning. In fact, they show whether the trademark is registered or not.

In accordance with Article 9(4) of the Law on the Protection of Trademarks, a trademark owner may place alongside a trademark preventive marking in the form of a letter R enclosed in a circle or a verbal designation indicating that the trademark is protected in the Republic Moldova..

In the Republic of Moldova the use of symbols TM or SM is not regulated by the Law on the Protection of Trademarks. Therefore the use of such symbols is currently a legally unregulated practice, most likely introduced by local trademark owners.

The symbol ® (registered) indicates a registered trademark, respectively the trademark holder holds exclusive rights on the sign registered with the Office of Industrial Property. The symbol ® should only be used in relation to registered trademarks. Use of ® with any unregistered trademark may lead to allegations of fraud or other difficulties in trying to obtain or enforce trademark rights.

The symbol TM (trademark) indicates an unregistered trademark. Use of the symbol TM does not guarantee that the owner’s trademark will be protected in accordance with the law applicable to registered trademarks.

The symbol SM (service mark) is similar to the symbol TM, but is used in connection with services such as telecommunication services. Also, the use of symbol SM does not guarantee that the owner’s trademark will be protected in accordance with the law applicable to registered trademarks.

The symbols ®, TM, SM can be placed in the upper right corner, in the lower right corner or at the logo level.