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Can I use a trademark if it's not registered?

Businesses must use trademarks to safeguard their reputation and brand identity. A trademark can be any term, phrase, symbol, design, or combination of things, as long as it aids in identifying and differentiating a company's goods from those of its rivals. Businesses may still wonder: Can I use a trademark if it's not registered? despite the fact that trademark registration offers legal protection. This blog will examine this query in relation to India.

Trademark registration_Raag Consultants

Yes, you can use a trademark even if it is not registered in India, to give the quick response. The use of an unregistered trademark is not illegal and trademark registration is not required. The use of an unregistered trademark is subject to some restrictions, nevertheless.


First off, utilising an unregistered trademark offers little in the way of legal defence. You might not have legal options to stop someone from using a trademark that is similar to or identical to yours. Establishing trademark ownership and demonstrating that you were using it before the other party may be difficult in these situations.


Second, unregistered trademarks might not be as efficient at preventing infringement or the sale of fake goods. If there is infringement, you could need to spend a lot of time, energy, and money establishing your ownership of the unregistered brand.


On the other hand, registered trademarks provide stronger legal protection and act as a deterrent to potential infringers. A registered trademark gives the owner the exclusive right to use the mark and the ability to take legal action against any infringement. Additionally, registered trademarks are easier to enforce and can help in stopping counterfeit goods from entering the market.


However, registering a trademark in India involves a lengthy process that can take up to 18 months or more. The process involves conducting a trademark search, filing a trademark application, and responding to objections raised by the Trademark Registry. Therefore, businesses may choose to use an unregistered trademark in the interim period before the trademark registration is complete.


In conclusion, it is permissible to use an unregistered trademark in India, but it offers little in the way of legal protection. It is advised to register your trademark if you wish to safeguard your brand's reputation and identity. The advantages of a registered trademark outweigh those of an unregistered one, notwithstanding the lengthy and onerous registration process.

 

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