It is not obligatory for a trademark to be registered in the countries of which it is present in. However there are an abundance of benefits associated with registration and a number of risks by not registering it, so it is highly advisable to all mark users to register the mark particularly if used commercially. If a mark is not registered you can claim your right to use it by added the symbol TM to the end of the mark, however this will not act as an effective deterrence against passing off.
By registering your mark with the appropriate registry in the countries you wish to own your trademark rights in, you will receive comprehensive protection against any unauthorized use of the mark. The symbol for an official trademark is the letter R inside a circle which is placed at the end of a trademark name, this symbol is a great marketing tool for companies striving for brand presence. The official symbol also acts a great deterrence against competitors using your mark.
A registered mark is protected in cases of infringement where a third party has used a mark which is confusingly similar to the registered mark. The onus is on the owner of the misleading trademark to prove the mark was used in goodwill. In cases of passing off or infringement, a registered trademark owner can sue the third party and receive damages or another appropriate form of remedy as provided for under the relevant trademark act.
A registered mark provides the owner with exclusive rights to the name, identity and logo in the countries which the mark is registered in. Where a trademark has been approved registration, it is a clear signifier that the mark is both distinctive and unique to the countries it is registered in and that it complies with the relevant laws. A registered mark will prevent competitors from the activity of passing off and where cases of infringement prevail, the protection and compensation always lie with the owner of the registered trademark.
Use our How to Register a Trademark page as a simple guide on how to proceed with your registration.