|As every Kat knows,|
TM stands for
"I am currently working for a company in the Netherlands and I am attempting to write some guidelines for the use of registered trade marks within the company. While doing so, I have come across wordmarks for computer programs which are not registered but which the company considers as its trade marks. The word marks are distinct and have the possibility of being registered. However, they are only used internally within the company so there seems to be no incentive to register them. In the event that one of these wordmarks is used in marketing material or client reports, I was thinking of suggesting the use of the ™ symbol.This Kat’s position is that, in the jurisdictions with which he is most familiar, the use of ™ is not explicitly controlled by statute or case law and that it is no more than an indication that the business that uses it regards the sign to which it is appended as being a trade mark even though it may not have been registered as such – and even if no application has been made to register it.
After doing some research I found that, in general, US sources seem to advocate the use of ™ for unregistered trade marks whereas UK sources state that the use of ™ implies the trade mark is unregistered but does not speak of where it can be used and if it really should be used. In short, internet sources and textbook answers are not sufficient and neither is the opinion of just one professional.
There appear to be no set rules on whether to use ™ or not so I was hoping you may be able to provide me with your own professional opinions on whether ™ should be used for unregistered trade marks. I am also curious to know how its use is received by the IP community in different countries".
|The bigger the 'TM', the more|
difficult it is so miss ...
Additionally, in the event that an action for passing off or unfair competition is brought in respect of an unregistered sign which is followed by a ™, its presence may influence the decision whether to grant provisional relief and, if the plaintiff succeeds, the flagrant nature of the infringement and therefore the scale of the damages awarded.
Merpel says, whatever else may be said about ™s, they’re not very pretty. There ought to be a better way to handle this. How about an official depository of signs used as unregistered trade marks, together with a list of goods or services covered by their non-registration …?
But what do readers think? Let’s be hearing from you!
Other pleasures represented by the letters TM here, here and here