What is the difference between a registered and unregistered trademark [Fact Checked]



Last updated : Aug 19, 2022
Written by : Randy Cuppett
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What is the difference between a registered and unregistered trademark

What is the difference between registered and unregistered?

An unregistered trademark or common law mark is essentially the same thing as a registered trademark except that the owner did not register the mark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office or a state trademark office.

What is the meaning of unregistered trademark?

An unregistered trademark is a mark that has not been registered at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (or at any of the state trademark offices). Owners of unregistered trademarks nevertheless have legal rights within the geographic areas in which they operate.

What happens if a trademark is not registered?

Thus, owner of an unregistered trademark may be able to prevent use by another party of an infringing mark pursuant to the common law of passing off. The owner or proprietor of such unregistered mark does not possess a right to sue for infringement under S.

What is difference between trademark and registered trademark?

A registered trademark is an intangible asset that is used to protect company's investment in the brand or symbol. A TM is a symbol which is used when an application for the trademark is registered with the trademark registry established in 1940. It simply means that one claims to be the proprietor of the trademark.

Why use an unregistered trademark?

The biggest reason why unregistered trademarks are important is that they provide no protection in legal matters outside of local or state government. If you are using an unregistered trademark that represents your business in a small geographic location, you may be able to stop them.

Can I use an unregistered trademark?

You can claim trademark rights in your unregistered trademark as long as it is distinctive and identifies or distinguishes your products or services. A trade name for your business is not the same as an unregistered trademark and is not given the same protections under federal trademark law.

Who owns an unregistered trademark?

Unlike registered trade marks, which can be assigned to a new owner by a written instrument such as an agreement or deed, the courts have held that ownership of unregistered trade marks can only be transferred together with the goodwill of the associated business.

How long does an unregistered trademark last?

In the United States, a federal trademark can potentially last forever, but it has to be renewed every ten years. If the mark is still being used between the 5th and the 6th year after it was registered, then the registration can be renewed.

What are the three types of trademarks?

What you'll learn: Arbitrary and Fanciful Trademarks. Suggestive Trademarks. Descriptive Trademarks.

How long does a trademark last?

A federal trademark lasts 10 years from the date of registration, with 10-year renewal terms. Between the fifth and sixth year after the registration date, the registrant must file an affidavit to state that the mark is still in use.

What does a registered trademark look like?

The symbol ® is a notice of registered trademark ownership. It is used to advise the public that a trademark or service mark is registered, providing notice of the legal ownership status of the mark with which it is used. The ® symbol should be used only in connection with registered trademarks or service marks.

Which category of trademark is the strongest?

The strongest types of trademarks are (1) fanciful or coined marks, such as EXXON for petroleum products; and (2) arbitrary marks, such as AMAZON for retail services.

Can you lose a trademark if you don't protect it?

If you don't enforce your trademark, you risk losing reputation, business, sales, customers, and more to the infringer. There's also a concept in trademark law called abandonment. Generally, if you don't use your mark for three years or more, it's considered abandoned.

How long does a trademark take to get approved?

Usually, the process takes 12 to 18 months. Registering your trademark is a complex procedure that involves your application moving through various stages. Learning about each stage in the process will help you understand why getting a trademark takes as long as it does.

How much is a trademark?

No matter how you file, you will pay a minimum of $250 to apply for a Federal trademark. But considering the importance of your trademark, and the potential complexities you face when filing, it's not a bad idea to use a lawyer or filing service.

Do I have to use TM every time?

The symbol does not have to be used every time the mark is used. Instead, use the symbol in the first instance the mark is used, in the most prominent use of the mark, or both. Repeated use of trademark symbols can become cluttered.

What does C with a circle mean?

The © 'C in a circle' is the normal copyright symbol and can be applied to most types of work. The ℗ 'P in a circle', is referred to as the sound recording, phonorecords, phonogram or phonographic copyright symbol.

What are some 5 examples of trademarks?

  • Under Armour®
  • Twitter®
  • It's finger lickin' good! ®
  • Just do it®
  • America runs on Dunkin'®

What are the 4 types of trademarks?

  • Generic. A generic term is a common description that does not receive trademark protection.
  • Descriptive.
  • Suggestive.
  • Arbitrary or Fanciful.

What makes a trademark weak?

Strong trademarks are suggestive, fanciful, or arbitrary. Weak trademarks are descriptive or generic. Think about them this way.


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What is the difference between a registered and unregistered trademark


Comment by Wilfredo Rynne

Thanks for this great article


Thanks for your comment Wilfredo Rynne, have a nice day.
- Randy Cuppett, Staff Member


Comment by Bernie

Jeff is a business coach he came up with the name logo and many memorable visuals for his business I don't get it I just don't get it hello trademark factory here how come some brands have a TM symbol next to them and some have an R in a circle symbol what's the difference which one should I use once you've decided to use a particular brand for your business start putting the TM symbol next to it oh that's simple what the TM symbol says to the public is that you're using this logo name or tagline as your trademark in fact this means that you yourself think that it is your trademark well I certainly think that it actually has an added advantage because a lot of people don't know trademark laws and think there is something more required from a business owner before they can place the TM sign next to their trademark customers may take you more seriously even though all you had to do was insert an extra character in all of your branding and marketing materials do you mean I can just place it next to my names and logos just like that yes and I don't need you to do anything for me nope you can do it yourself and I don't need to pay anything to anybody to do it nope just go ahead and do it then what does the R and a circle mean this means that the trademark is registered while the TM sign means that you yourself think that it is your trademark the are in the circle sign means that you yourself think that it is your trademark and the government agrees well my trademarks are not registered can I still use the AR and circle symbol no you may run into a lot of trouble if you do especially in the United States thank you you


Thanks Bernie your participation is very much appreciated
- Randy Cuppett


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