Trade Marks – Use it or lose it!

A registered trade mark comes with a number of benefits. The owner of a registered trade mark can use the registered trade mark exclusively for a 10 year term with respect to the classes the goods and services were registered in.

It is not unusual for motivated, forward planning business owners to register a number of trade marks for products or services that they intend to develop in the future. That being said not all ideas get developed to fruition, and similarly, sometimes registered trade marks do not get used. In addition to this, some people view that it’s not fair to have a registration for a trade mark that’s not actively being used.

If you have a registered trade mark, you should ideally use it – a failure to do so for a particular time frame can result in the registered trade mark being the target for an application for the removal of the trade mark for non-use.

Similarly however, if you are looking to establish your own brand but find your trade mark registration in conflict with an older, unused trade mark, you should consider whether it is appropriate to seek that the older mark is removed from the register.

All in all – you gotta use it or you might lose it!