A trademark is a sign, symbol, word, or words registered or legalized for the use of representation of a company's product or services. Hence, any tamper or illegal use of this trademark by any other company it does not belong to, gives the authorized company the right to legal action making trademark of a company the most important feature of its existence.
Once a company is formed, it must register its trademark with the Registrar, which is valid for ten years only, as it has it own benefits.
Broadly there are trademarks can be categorized into two kinds the registered trademarks and the unregistered trademarks.
Registered Trademarks and Unregistered Trademarks
- A trademark after going through the registration procedure is entered in the Trademark Register. Such a trademark is known as registered trademark. Whereas, a trademark that is not registered with the Trademark Registrar is known as an unregistered trademark.
- Registered trademark is assured to have legal rights especially giving the applicant the ownership of the trademark. Unregistered trademark does not possess any legal benefits. However, an unregistered trademark is recognized through common law.
- If a trademark is registered, the owner has the benefit of the exclusive rights of use, sell or trade of the trademark. Unregistered trademark has no such exclusive rights and is open to use by public, unless proved otherwise.
- It is necessary to prove the ownership of the trademark if it is unregistered, in ways of goodwill or reputation of the trademark with regards to product or service for which it is used. If a trademark is registered, the burden of proof lies with the competitor of the owner of the trademark.
- Once a trademark is registered, the trademark can use the symbol encircled R displaying the legal ownership of the trademark. An unregistered trademark can be protected without registration by using the symbol TM. This symbol displays the notice of your rights without registering the trademark.
Despite the common law benefits that an unregistered trademark possesses, it is highly advisable to register the trademark to gain the legal benefits in case of any infringement or theft. A registered trademark gives the user or then owner the competitive edge and stands high chance of favor from the law.