A registered trademark enjoys numerous benefits that are not necessarily available to unregistered marks used in a commercial capacity. Although it is not obligatory to register your mark in order to operate your business or represent a product or service, it is almost always advised to register your mark in order to obtain legal protection and enjoy the various benefits provided under trademark law.
Importance of trademark registration
It should be noted that the process of registering a mark is made significantly easier by utilizing the professional services of a trademark attorney or professional consultancy firm. In addition, a professional within the intellectual property industry can advise you on the most favorable countries to register your mark in, guide you on the process and help you with trademark searches and design.
The owner of a registered mark enjoys more benefits than the owner of a mark that is not registered. Registration may help act as a deterrent against competitors using your mark and passing it off as their own. Once registered it will adopt the appropriate symbol (R inside a circle), indicating the mark is legally protected.
One of the most attractive features of registering your trademark is that you will obtain exclusive rights over the usage of the mark. You also have the right to sue any third party who infringes your intellectual property rights.
In the instance that your trademark rights are infringed by a third party or direct competitor; as an owner of a registered mark, you have the right to seek the appropriate remedy. Depending on the case, the losses and damaged caused to the owner, there are a range of remedies that will prove suitable. Some of the most common remedies sought include:
- Injunction relief
- Costs reimbursed (such as legal costs for bringing the action forward)
- Profits gained by the opposing party through trademark infringement to be awarded to the registered owner
A benefit of bringing a trademark infringement case to court as the owner of a registered mark; the onus is always put on the third party to prove they used the trademark in good will.
The level of protection gained through registering your trademark, as provided by the applicable Law, provides owners with a framework to guide them in the successful operation of their mark.
Another benefit of owning a registered mark is the right to renew your exclusive ownership rights every 10 years, for an indefinite period of time, provided the mark is required by the owner and is used in compliance with the trademark law in place.