Difference between Registered and Unregistered Trademarks

Posted on: 2017-08-24 06:23:54

There are several areas of difference between a registered and an unregistered trademark. At the very basic level they differ in terms of the protection that they offer to their respective owners. A registered trademark can be described in legal jargon as a statutory remedy and the latter can be regarded as a common legal remedy.

In case of registered trademarks it is very important that you are able to establish the fact that an infringing mark is exactly, or at least highly, similar to your trademark as that will help establish the fact that there has been an infringement of sorts.

The thing with unregistered trademarks

The thing with unregistered trademarks is that you may get some protection from them but this is only applicable when the product or service in question enjoys a significant position in the market that it is operating in. It is very important that your common buyers are aware that such a trademark belongs to you. These trademarks also differ from one another in terms of the signs that represent them.

A registered trademark is represented by ® and an unregistered trademark is represented by , which stands for the trademark symbol.

Laws related to trademarks

The laws related to trademarks tend to differ from one country to another. For example, in India you have Trademarks Act. It may also be that in a particular territory it is not obligatory for you to register your trademark like it happens in India. It needs to be said that in this particular respect India differs significantly from so many other countries of the world.

In India, an unregistered trademark is also granted protection and it comes with several benefits as well. However, as you would know, the matter of statutory right of infringement is not applicable to an unregistered trademark like it happens with a registered trademark. This is the reason why it is always better to get your trademark registered because of the benefits that come with it and the value that it has.       

Advantages of a registered trademark

There are several advantages that you enjoy when you register your trademark. For starters, you have a whole host of exclusive rights. This includes the right to exclusive use of the trademark in question for your products and services.

Normally, you need to register a trademark for a decade and then keep on renewing it. The process of registration is governed by various laws for such purposes in different countries.

In India, this is done by Trademarks Act 1999. There are certain reasons as to why you should get your trademark registered. For business organization, it helps your goods and services to be identified and distinguished from those of your competitors.

You can also advertise your goods and services in an effective way by using your registered trademark. It also plays a major role in keeping your commercial goodwill safe.

The most important thing of all is that if a buyer is aware of your trademark he will not buy any substitute product or service that is nowhere as good as what you offer.

Let’s take a look on brief comparison chart of registered and unregistered trademark and know how they are differentiated from each other.

Registered Trademark

Unregistered Trademark

Registered trademark is a hallmark/legal mark for a brand, logo, symbol or design which is legally registered under the Trade Marks Act, 1999.

An unregistered trademark is a trademark which is not registered under the Trade Marks Act, 1999 and does not have the rights/safeguards against contravention.

Registered trademark is represented by the symbol (R)

Unregistered trademark is symbolically represented as (TM)

Registered trademark possesses a statutory right of infringement

Unregistered trademark does not possesses the statutory right of infringement

It has the rights to take legal protection against the piracy or misuse of your brand.

But, it does not get much protection & cannot stop a third party from using the same mark

The owner of the business can use the TM symbol once they applied for trademark and he has the right to legal protection

In case of this, proprietor can use TM symbol but has no right to use the R symbol

According to Section-28 of the Trade Marks Act, 1999, trademark registration secures the goodwill of the trader and gives protection to brand name

As per Section-27 of the Act, no action can be taken for infringement in case of unregistered trademark

In registered trademark, you use R symbol to get the name and fame for your products or services legally

In unregistered trademark, you can use the symbol TM to signify your products from others but does not have security and legal protection as compared to registered trademark


In a legal point of view; we suggest that getting trademark for your business is beneficial which helps to take actions on piracy and also protect your brand name, logo, slogan, and etc. from being duplicated by others. This trademark creates a high brand value, earns trust & credibility and consumers can rely on products/services. So it’s better to do trademark for your business to avoid the loss of organization’s familiarity and business.

In BusinessWindo, we provide cost effective and efficient company incorporation services as well as all taxation and legal service solutions regarding to company registration in Bangalore Karnataka or anywhere in India.


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