What Rights do Trademark Protection Offer


Trademark protection is a form of intellectual property protection, and it gives you the right to prevent others from using your trademark. By registering a trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), you’re able to prevent others from using similar or identical trademarks on similar or identical goods or services. Simply put: if someone else tries to use your trademark on their products or services, they’ll be breaking federal law!

Rights of the Trademark Owner or Authorized User

The owner of a trademark has certain rights in the mark, which include:

  • The right to use and license others to use the mark.
  • The right to exclude others from using it.
  • The right to register the mark with IP offices for protection against third parties who might infringe or dilute it.

The rights conferred on users of a trademark by its owner are limited in several ways: by their degree of control over the use of the mark; by what they have done or not done with respect to advertising and promotion; and by any contractual obligations they have undertaken not to do anything that would conflict with their obligations as licensees under an agreement with the owner. These limitations are described below under “Limitations on Rights Conferred.

Rights of the public.

Public use of trademarks without permission or license is permitted in the following ways:

  • Descriptive use. A trademark can be used descriptively to describe the goods or services it represents, as long as this use does not imply that there is any relationship between the owner of the mark and those who are actually providing the good or service (e.g., using “Microsoft Word” to describe a word processor).
  • Comparative advertising. Comparative advertising includes uses of another company’s trademarks to compare your product against theirs, provided you do so fairly and accurately (e.g., saying “Our computer system is better than Apple’s”).
  • Parody use. Trademarks may also be used for non-commercial purposes such as parody, satire, political commentary or other forms of humor—but only if consumers understand that your use is different from what they would normally expect when encountering a particular trademarked product or service.

Limitations on the Rights Conferred

However, the trademark owner is not entitled to prevent third parties from using signs which are not identical to or similar to his/her trademark.

For example, a restaurant located in London may use the name “Dinner” for its business, but it will not be able to prevent someone else from opening another restaurant called “Dinner” in Dublin or Aberdeen.

Rights that are Acquired by Registration

The rights which are acquired by registration are:

  • The right to use a trademark in relation to the goods and services for which it has been registered.
  • The right to prohibit all third parties from using a confusingly similar trademark in relation to goods and services for which the trademark is registered.

Implied Rights under the Paris Convention.

The Paris Convention grants trademark owners the right to prevent others from using a sign that is identical to or similar to their mark. Thus, any person who uses a trademark for goods and services identical to those for which the original owner has registered it may be prevented from doing so by an action brought against him or her in court.

However, this is not always true when a third party uses part of another’s a trademark as part of its own brand name. The law does not provide protection against such fair use; it only makes it possible to oppose the registration of such trademarks if there is a likelihood of confusion between them and one’s own registered mark.


While trademark protection offers you a lot of rights, there are some limitations. For example, if someone else is already using your brand name or logo, it can be difficult to claim exclusive rights over it. In addition, there are certain things that you may not be able to trademark at all.

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