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Can I lose my Trade Mark?

Jan 2019
Once a trade mark has been accepted, in theory it can legally be in force forever. However, there are a few possible situations where you could lose the trade mark.
Expiration
In most countries, a trade mark will be in force for a period of 10-15years. Before the end of this period, you will have the option of renewing again for the same period of time. However, if you fail to renew on time, the trade mark will lapse, and you will lose legal protection for your trade mark, and potentially could allow someone else to register your hard-earned trade mark.
Revocation
Once a trade mark has been granted, it is still possible for the trade mark to be disputed by a third party, although their chance of success would be lower than if they had objected during the publication period. There must be valid grounds for the cancellation request and it must have legal standing. Before applying for the trade mark, it is worth to search the internet to determine if there are any similarly name competitors out there to determine if there is a possibility of a future objection years down the line. BKIP has over twenty years’ experience in both filing objections, and defending objections, so will be able to assist in whatever the circumstances.
Non-use
In the USA in particular, trade mark status is dependant upon the trade mark actually being in use. In the US according to the Lanham Act, if a trade mark hasn’t been used for three consecutive years , there will be a rebuttable presumption the trade mark has been abandoned. Elsewhere, if a trade mark isn’t being used, it could become easy for a third party to try to have your trade mark cancelled.
Trade Mark too Generic
Worldwide, one of the most stringent features of a trade mark is that the trade mark is distinctive. If a trade mark term becomes too generic and describes the business activity, then the trade mark loses its distinctiveness and thus could lose its status as a trade mark. There are many terms that we use today that started out as business names, some of the most famous of which are Hoover, Jet ski, Escalator and Jacuzzi.
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Company information

Benny Kong Intellectual Property Limited

Unit 19B, Overseas Trust Bank Building, No. 160 Gloucester Road, Hong Kong
(852) 3105 5120
tm@bkip.com.hk