Revocation of a trademark

 

If you want to make use of another company’s trademark, you can apply to have it revoked.

Ordinarily this will be because that company has never used it, or has long since stopped doing so. Sometimes however, there may be other reasons.

Revoking a trademark for non-use

Many businesses will register trademarks that they never go on to use. There are many possible reasons for this. It might be to protect themselves against companies adopting similar branding, projects might have been shelved before completion, or they may even intend to sell creative trademarks to other companies.

To be successful, the applicant must show that the trademark has not been used in the five years since it was registered, or not for any uninterrupted period of five years, and that there are no proper reasons for non-use.

If the non-use was due to legal or export reasons, then that will not be sufficient to have the trademark revoked.

The proprietor of the trademark is entitled to defend their rights to it. They can do this by proving that it has been in use, for example, by producing evidence of goods, sales or advertising using the mark.

Learn more about protecting your brand by visiting our trademarks page.

Revoking a trademark for other reasons

Occasionally a trademark may be revoked for other reasons. These refer to cases in which the mark has become a common term in the trade for which it is registered, or is likely to result in the public being misled.

These cases are considerably rarer and the revocation is unlikely to be granted. If you become involved in one, it is important to take legal advice at the earliest opportunity.

It is not always necessary to take the matter to a tribunal. In many cases, when a trademark has fallen out of use or it has become necessary to revoke it for other reasons, the proprietor will be happy to surrender it, particularly if they know they would not succeed in retaining it were a formal application to be made.

It is important to be aware that if the proprietor of a trademark does not defend your application to revoke it, you will be responsible for all the legal costs.

If you would like to have a trademark revoked, or defend an action to do so, Contact Law can put you in touch with a cost-effective specialist intellectual property solicitor free of charge. Please call us on 0800 1777 162 or complete the web-form above to speak to an advisor.

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