Registering a trade mark is the best way to protect your brand. But, you can’t just make an application and then forget about it. If you do, you could lose the protection that your trade mark gives. So, in this article, I’m going to explain how this can happen and how you can avoid this happening to you.
Use it or lose it
When you apply to register a trade mark you have to make a declaration that you are either using the trade mark for the goods and services you are applying for, or that there’s a genuine intention that you will do so.
This is because trade marks give you the exclusive right to use them in relation to the products and services they are registered for. When you have a registered trade mark, you can stop a competitor selling identical or similar products using an identical or similar brand.
This makes them very powerful and extremely valuable.
There used to be a trend that when you register a trade mark you would include as many goods and services as you can in an attempt to block your competitors’ activities.
However, that strategy is no longer a good one.
If you don’t use your trade mark for all the goods and services it has been registered for, for a period of five years or more, there is a risk that someone else could apply to have it cancelled for non-use.
So, when you are applying to register a trade mark you should only include the goods and services you are actually using it for, or that you will definitely use it for in the near future.
Then, if you expand your range of goods and services, or you want protection for goods or services that you may discontinue at some time, you should include them in a separate application.
This will mean that if a trade mark is cancelled for non-use, you will only lose that particular one. You won’t lose all of the protection you have because you will still have other trade marks protecting your core brand.
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