What Legal Rights Do Trademark Owners Have?

Updated on December 19, 2023 05:39:04 AM

A trademark is a term of intellectual property that is used to provide a distinct identity to goods or services. Any word, colour, symbol, pattern, sound or shape can be a trademark. It helps to build a strong brand reputation and also aids a business to stand out at the commercial level. Therefore trademark registration plays a crucial role in providing several benefits to the owner.

In this article, we will explore the thorough information related to the several rights of registered and unregistered trademarks that are provided to the owners such as exclusive rights, rights to assign and right to seek correction.

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What is a Registered and Unregistered Trademark

Every business needs a name or brand by which they establish their business identity in the market. These particular brand names or logos are known as the Trademark, from which consumers can identify their products or business. These names or their identity can be Registered or unregistered by government authorities.

The main difference between Registered and unregistered Trademarks is that the Registered Trademark is officially licenced under “The Trademark Law, 1999” by the government and they ensure to protect their solo rights over the brand. On the other hand, an unregistered Trademark is not officially Registered under the Trademark law, and it has more chance of infringement than a registered Trademark.

Owners' Rights of Registered Trademark

There are several rights provided to the owners of the trademark by the Trademark Authority. Let's explore every right one by one:

  1. Exclusive Rights: The Owner of the Registered Trademark gets exclusive rights under section 28 of Trademark law, for the solo use of the Trademark for commercial use. This exclusive right ensures that the goods or services are authorised by a particular individual or firm. Apart from the owner nobody has the right to use similar marks for their marketing.
  2. Legal Protection: Trademark Registration provides Legal protection to the owner of the Trademark from piracy. The owner can also claim their rights and can take legal action against infringement by raising TM opposition during the registration for others’ similar marks.
  3. Licensing and Assignment: Section 38 of Trademark law, The owner of the Trademark has the legal right to assign their Trademark to another for a valid time, and they can also sell their Trademark as well.
  4. Brand Reputation: A registered trademark plays crucial to build a brand reputation. It provides a distinct identity to the business and also aids to distinguish a product or service from its rivals. This unique identity leads to stand out in the marketplace.
  5. Rights of Correction: Accordingly, to section 58 of the Trademark Act,1999, Trademark Owners can make changes or corrections such as any name, address, logo, and classes of their Trademark etc.

Owner’s Rights of Unregistered Trademark

The Owner of the Trademarks can claim rights against infringement of their Trademark whether it is a registered or unregistered Trademark. While an unregistered Trademark does not get the same level of Litem Legalis protection as a registered Trademark gets.

Unregistered Trademark owners can also claim and protect their Trademark against infringement from a third party. They can use Passing-off to prevent their authority over that particular symbol or Trademark. In this, the owner has to prove themselves as a prior user and has to submit some evidence. If they are able to prove their side, they will be the only solo user of that mark even after an unregistered Trademark.


The Trademark owner provides many rights to protect their intellectual property under the Trademark law. Therefore every individual or business must register their Trademark and make more chances to enhance the business reach at the market level. The owner can protect their brand reputation by claiming their rights and making their business distinct from their competitors. The registered Trademark also helps to build trust among the consumers which will lead to making a strong reputation of the brand.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What legal rights do Trademark owners have?

Trademark owners get many legal rights such as legal protection, exclusive rights, rights to assign and rights of correction. These rights help a business establish a distinct brand identity at the commercial level.

Can a Trademark be sold?

Yes, the Trademark can be sold as other property. The owner of the Trademark can assign that Trademark to another person or business for a particular time period.

What is the difference between registered and unregistered Trademarks?

The main difference between registered and unregistered Trademark is that the registered trademark is officially licensed by the TM authority or government and the unregistered Trademark is not licensed by the government authority.

What Legal rights do unregistered Trademark owners have?

The Unregistered Trademark does not get as many legal rights as a registered Trademark. But the owner of the unregistered Trademark can also claim their right against infringement through the passing-off. In this process, the owner has to prove themselves as a prior user by submitting supportive documents.

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