Is it obligatory to actively show the protection of my mark?

A trademark may be designated by the following symbols:

  • ™ for an unregistered trademark, that is, a trademark application or a trademark being used to promote or brand goods without seeking its registration
  • ® for a registered trademark.

The use of these symbols is however not regulated and not mandatory in most European countries to invoke your trademark rights against third parties. You cannot of course use the ® symbol for a mark that is not registered, as this may constitute a criminal offence in some countries. In the United States, on the contrary, there are strict rules to abide by when using the ® symbol and the use thereof may grant additional rights to compensation to the holder when facing infringement of its rights.

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