Although there is no legal obligation to register a mark, it is always advised to seek official registration due to the increased level of legal protection that can be achieved by doing so. There are a number of highly advantageous uses of a registered trademark.
Registered trademark uses
Enlisting the services of a professional consultancy firm to guide you on how to use your registered trademark, and how to get the most from your trademark rights is a necessary factor when registering your mark as many owners are unaware of their intellectual property responsibilities and rights.
The primary reason to seek registration rights over your mark is to be able to use if freely and exclusively in commerce, without the risk of competitors or third parties using the same or similar trademarks. A registered trademark will gain a high level of legal protection and where your rights are infringed, a court of law will protect you and provide the necessary remedies.
A registered mark is especially effective when branding a company. Consumers tend to buy products by recognizing certain brand names, logos, slogans and designs that they are loyal to. Thus without the appropriate protection over these forms of intellectual properties, companies leave themselves exposed to risk of passing off and infringements.
When using a trademark in a commercial capacity, particularly for a company brand identity, or representation over a product or service, it is important to register your mark rights. A registered trademark will adopt the official registered symbol – R inside a circle – at the end of a title/design and this often acts as an effective deterrent in preventing other parties from using the trademark without permission.
Your right to renew your mark may be affected if you do not use it in accordance with the relevant trademarks act in your county/countries of registration. You may be refused renewal where you have not used your trademark within the first 3 years of registration or where you have used it in an infringing manner. It is therefore vital that all owners of registered marks are fully aware of the standards and requirements they must meet when using their mark.
In addition, your registered trademark rights can be revoked if you have not used it in accordance with the necessary laws and standards as stipulated by the applicable trademark registries.
It may be helpful to obtain the advice and guidance of a professional consultancy firm to inform you of your rights, obligations and advantages of being a registered mark owner.