Difference Between Registered and Unregistered Trademark (With Table)

Registered vs Unregistered Trademark

A trademark is a logo, name, signature, design, label, numerals and so on used in business by individuals or organizations to identify and distinguish the product from others. It is a unique identification code for the product. 

In India, the rules and laws are laid by the Trademark Act 1999. There are types of trademarks, one is a registered trademark and another unregistered trademark. It is not mandatory to register a trademark in India but it is advisable to do so, as there are many benefits available to registered trademark holders.

The trademark is used to identify its product from other products and make a name in the market like Cadbury’s or Coca-cola. Others certainly cannot copy these trademarks, if anyone does,  then it is illegal.

A registered trademark is a special symbol or logo which is registered in the National Trademark Office by the individuals or organizations for their business products. By registering the trademarks, it gives the benefits and rights for 10 years and it can be extended if needed.

The unregistered trademark is any logo, symbol, word, or design used by the individual or an organization on a business product to identify the produced by them. It does not give the security to owners of an organization as a registered trademark does.

The difference between the Registered and Unregistered trademark is, Registered trademark provides the security to their trademark and no one can copy as it is illegal. Whereas the Unregistered trademark has no guarantee of security to an individual or an organization as a registered trademark does. 


 

Comparison Table Between Registered and Unregistered Trademark (in Tabular Form)

Parameter of ComparisonRegistered trademarkUnregistered trademark
MeaningIt is a specific symbol, logo, design, word or colour used by the organization as trademark and registered under trademark act 1999It is a symbol, logo, design, word or colour used by the organization as trademark not registered under any acts
SecurityIt provides security to its owners and copied by others is illegalThere is no guarantee of security to its owners and it proved by organization goodwill.
LocationThe protection available all over places in the countryThe goodwill has to prove where and all it earned by the owner
TimeThe 10 years of validity will be there and if required can be renewedThe owner has to prove the goodwill exits for the length of time
PolicyThe rules and laws are laid by the trademark act 1999It follows the rules and guidance of common law.

 

What is Registered Trademark?

A registered trademark is an exclusive symbol or a designed logo that is registered in the National Trademark Office. It is usually done by companies or individuals to have a secured brand figure under their name.  By registering the trademarks, it gives the benefits and rights for 10 years period.

The registered trademark gives security to its owners. It is the branding or name that makes its presence in the market for business products. The registered trademarks cannot be copied by anyone and it is illegal to do so. If the owner of the product wants his product to be branded or make an image in the market then it is advisable to register the trademark.

The following reasons are mentioned below for the registration of a trademark, they are

  1. To identify where the product and service produced or made.
  2. To advertise and branding of the products and services
  3. To provide security to it is owners of trade goodwill
  4. To protect the public from purchasing the duplicate products with the same name

The registration of the trademark gives the monopoly right to the particular organization or its owners. It clarifies the doubt of consumers as to where the product came from.

By looking at the symbol we can make out whether the trademark is registered or unregistered. For every new business of any individual or an organization,  the registered trademark shall create goodwill. The symbol of the registered trademark is ®. It will be there on the product where the business trademark is registered and all the association of products. Once the trademark is registered or issued its owner’s responsibility to make use properly.

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Registered Trademark
 

What is Unregistered Trademark?

The unregistered trademark is any logo or a designed symbol, or even a word, or design used by the individual or organization on a business product to identify them. It does not offer any security.

The owner has to prove the goodwill exists and existed and earned all over the place in case he wants to produce the product and services and for the length of the time. The trademark is not registered under any act, or law so the risk of security is high.

It does not get any of the legal benefits as registered trademark gets but sometimes common law benefits may be provided. In case, if any law or agreement is breached then an action can be taken for the unregistered trademark but still, it can be protected by the common law.

By using the common law, the unregistered trademark owner can prevent his mark being used by others. The common law can protect the unregistered trademark on the state level.

The symbol of the unregistered trademark is “TM”. The common law gives the protection of false advertisement, origin, and false designation for an unregistered trademark.

If the trademark is not registered the owner has the legal authority only in the place where he does the business. In case if the trademark is used by other the company even if it is a big company the owner has the right to stop the usage by using the goodwill earned by that location or mark.

Even though the owner has limited power, the individual can protect their trademark by sending them a letter or asking them to stop using without the license of a trademark in the case breach of the agreement.

Unregistered Trademark 1

Main Differences Between Registered and Unregistered Trademark

  • The main difference between the Registered and Unregistered trademark is that a registered trademark can support the business owner with the security it offers over the branding while unregistered trademark does not have that security feature. Copying other trademarks for business purpose is illegal.
  • The registered trademark comes under the trademark act of 1999. Whereas the unregistered trademark does not come under any act or law.
  • For registered trademark, the protection is available all over places in the country but an unregistered trademark can be supported only by the goodwill.
  • The registered trademark has 10 years of validity and if required it can be renewed. While in the unregistered trademark the owner has to prove the goodwill for the length of time.
  • Registered trademark’s breach of conspiracy can be dealt with directly through the trademark act of 1999 while unregistered trademark can be supported by the common law that too a smaller extent.

 

Conclusion

The registered and unregistered trademark both are symbol, logo, design, colour, or word used on business products by its owner. A registered trademark has been registered under The trademark act and unregistered trademark has not registered under any law. The law advises to its owner to register their trademarks for the legal benefits.

The registered trademark is protected by law enforce and it does not allow anyone to copy the trademark. The unregistered trademark can also be protected by enforcing the common law, where and trade happened as a particular location. If a new business wants to make an image or brand in the market it is good to register the trademark and it helps to survive in the market.


 

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