5 Ways to Maintain Your Trade Mark
When establishing your business and its brand, registering a trade mark is an important step. However, it is important to consider that applying for and registering your trade mark is only the first step in your trade mark’s life cycle. In fact, your trade mark will require ongoing maintenance for as long as you intend to use it. Depending on how many trade marks your business has, maintaining your trade marks can be a complex process requiring both time and effort. To help you better understand the requirements for trade mark maintenance, this article will take you through five ways to maintain your trade mark.
1. Update Your Contact Details
Once you have registered your trade mark, you must keep IP Australia up to date with the details of your business. This includes notifying IP Australia of any changes in contact details, contact persons, or business addresses. This will allow IP Australia to send you any important correspondence relating to the maintenance of your trade mark, ensuring that you are receiving all of the information you need to maintain your trade mark.
2. Monitor the Market
It is important that once you have registered your trade mark, you monitor the market. This includes actively looking out for other businesses infringing on your trade mark and taking action to prevent it. You should also keep up to date with new trade mark applications, ensuring that no one is trying to register a trade mark too similar to yours. If they are, you are entitled to oppose the acceptance of such a trade mark.
3. Revise Your Trade Marks
As well as monitoring your trade marks externally, you should also aim to monitor your trade marks internally. This includes ensuring that everyone responsible for using your trade marks knows how to use them appropriately. Your business should also aim to develop a trade mark management system. This will help plan how you will respond to trade mark infringement and how much you intend to spend managing your trade marks and other intellectual property.
4. Use Your Trade Mark
Once you have registered your trade mark, you must use it. Failure to use your trade mark can result in the removal of your trade mark from the trade mark register for non-use. The earliest an individual can make a non-use application is five years after your trade mark has been on the trade mark register. Whoever applies to have your trade mark removed from the register must demonstrate that you have not used your trade mark for three years. If someone does file such an application against your trade mark, you will have to provide a statement opposing this removal.
5. Renew Your Trade Mark
You must renew your trade mark every 10 years. Failure to renew your trade mark by the appropriate deadline can result in serious consequences, including IP Australia deeming your trade mark expired and removing it from the trade mark register. Renewing your trade mark and paying the applicable renewal fees when they are due will help prevent any adverse consequences.
Maintaining your trade mark is just as important as registering it. Some of the key ways you can maintain your trade mark include:
- making sure your contact details are up to date;
- monitoring the market;
- revising your trade marks;
- using your trade marks; and
- renewing your trade marks.
Frequently Asked Questions
Registering a trade mark has a wide range of benefits that can help your business in the long term. Ultimately, registering a trade mark helps you build and protect your brand, increasing the value of your business over time. Trade mark registration can also help you avoid potential legal disputes, preventing you from infringing on the trade mark of others.
Maintaining your trade mark is as critical as registering it. Trade mark maintenance allows you to monitor, revise, and enforce your trade mark and the rights that come with it. Maintaining your trade mark ensures that you are putting your trade mark to use.