Trade marks can be protected through registration. Trade mark registration protects your brand value, defends against rival marks, defines your rights and prevents counterfeiting and fraud.
In many countries, so called well-known trademarks are also protected without being registered. Such obligation result from the provisions of the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property and the TRIPS Agreement.
Furthermore, in common law countries (such as the UK and Cyprus), unregistered trademarks can also be protected under so called passing off law. Passing off is a common law tort and protects the goodwill of a trader from a misrepresentation. In other words, it prevents one trader from misrepresenting goods or services as being the goods and services of someone else.