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What Rights Does a Trademark Owner Have?

Owning a trademark provides a shield to your business ideas, goods, or services. This article brings an extensive list of rights vested upon both registered and unregistered trademark owners.

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What Is a Trademark?

A trademark is a form of intellectual property. It is a visual representation of a word, symbol, label, numismatic characters, design, or combination of these things that distinguishes your products or services from that of your customers’. It is protected by the Intellectual Property Rights( IPR). 

A trademark is used

  1. To legally protect your brand from fraudsters. 
  2. To establish recognition in the market
  3. To differentiate your goods and services from that of your competitors

Registered vs Unregistered Trademark

You can become the owner of trademarks as soon as you begin to use the trademark for your goods and services. That is, the rights of a trademark owner are established by the usage of the trademark. However, such rights are limited and apply to only a certain geographical area in which the goods and services are provided. For stronger, nationwide rights you might want to register your trademark.

To let your customers know that you claim a trademark as your own, you can use a symbol. Even if unregistered, you can use your trademark with the symbol “TM”. A Registered trademark owner can use the symbol “®” to let their stakeholders know about the registration of their trademark.

Registering a trademark makes it an untouchable asset or intellectual property for a business. It safeguards the company’s ideogram or brand.

Rights of an Unregistered Trademark Owner

The owner of an unregistered trademark can prevent any third party from using a deceptively identical trademark. Such unauthorised use by rivals results in passing-off. The proceedings for an unregistered trademark infringement can be initiated under the Common Law Right.

The proprietor must be able to prove the infringement by establishing the following important factors to bring an action against the pass-off:

  1. The trademark owner’s acquired goodwill in the market
  2. Misrepresentation of the defendant’s act 
  3. The loss suffered by the owner or likely to be suffered by the owner

Rights of a Registered Trademark Owner

It is not mandatory to register your trademark. However, registering it provides broader rights as compared to the rights of an unregistered trademark. Trademark registration is a cumbersome process. But once registered, it leaves with the owner certain valuable rights. Let us list them out.

1. The Right to Exclusive Use

Exclusive right to use the trademark concerning the products and goods for which it was registered, under some conditions. If there are more than one proprietors in whose name the trademark is registered, each of them will have the same right against other unregistered users

2. The Right to Statutory Remedy for Any Infringement

As the owner has exclusive rights over the registered trademark, he/she can seek legal solutions to any sort of infringement of their registered trademark, in a manner prescribed by law. 

3. Right to Assign

A registered trademark owner has the right to transfer ownership by the way of license or assignment. They can provide effectual receipts for such assignments.

4. Right to Register Correction

The owner of a registered trademark can apply for correction of the register with regards to the name, address, or description of the registered proprietor. He has the right to even cancel out any entry of trademark on the register, or strike out any class of goods and services from the register.

Conclusion

A trademark in India is registered under the Trademark Act, 2016. The Act authorises the owner of the trademark to sue for damages and infringement when contraventions of the trademark occur. To obtain the aforementioned rights of a registered trademark owner, you might want to get your trademark registered. Vakilsearch’s legal and business team can help you register even a dead trademark effortlessly through a completely online process. 

GET TRADEMARK REGISTRATION NOW

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