From what I know of trademark law from self-research, your statement is not factually correct, at least in the US. Trademarks do not need to be registered in the US in order to receive common law protection. It is the person who uses the trademark first (through product or service sale, for marketing, etc.) that is considered the owner. Registered at the State and Federal level provides "proof" of ownership; though that too can be contested if someone has held the mark for longer but not registered it.