Back Four Brand Protection

Back Four

They’re only little letters but when placed after something important to us, or your business – can mean the world!

These tiny symbols are all around us and when placed after pictures, music or brand names need to be treated with care – especially when they are protecting YOUR intellectual property.

We wanted to run through what these symbols mean and why they are so important to the work you do.

The Copyright © Symbol

This signifies copyright ownership, in any artistic or literary field. Copyright arises automatically on creation of original works such as drawings, paintings and photographs, novels, poems, plays, films and music, as well as software, databases and online content. If you’ve created a cool design you own copyright in it!

The Trademark TM Symbol.

This tends to be used with unregistered marks, often to signify that a trade mark is in the application process (pending), but is yet to be registered. It’s used to warn others, but it doesn’t mean the mark is fully protected.

The Registered Trademark ® Symbol

This symbol is reserved for registered trade marks and provides notice that the preceding word, symbol or logo is protected and registered with a trade mark office.

What is a Trademark?

A trade mark is any sign that is capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one trader from those of another. A trade mark allows its owner to prevent others from using or registering an identical or similar trade mark in relation to the same or similar goods. In simple terms trade marks show proof of origin and ownership. In theory you can trade mark just about anything including shapes, sounds, colours and even smells!

For more advice about trade marks we’d always recommend speaking to a trade mark attorney, such as Wilson Gunn (, or checking out the Intellectual Property Office website (, which has loads of help, tips and advice for anyone with an idea or business they want to protect.

We hope you found this useful. Make sure you keep it social and reach out with any questions @backfourbp #backfourchat

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