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Revocation of Trade Marks


In the UK, a registered Trade Mark may be revoked if:-

(a) within the period of five years following the date of completion of the registration procedure it has not been put to genuine use in the United Kingdom, by the proprietor or with his consent, in relation to the goods or services for which it is registered, and there are no proper reasons for non-use;
(b) that such use has been suspended for an uninterrupted period of five years, and there are no proper reasons for non-use; (Section 46, Trade Marks Act 1994)

Genuine use here has been interpreted by the courts as being qualitative as well as quantitative (Ansul BV v. Ajax Brandbeveiliging BV). The earliest date of revocation is the day following the fifth anniversary of the registration date. Note that a Trade mark may be partly revoked (in respect of only some goods or services, but not others) which means even if there has been use for some goods, it may still be open for revocation in respect of others. Use includes using the mark in forms differing only in minor elements from the mark in its registered form, and may include goods that have been sold as exports only.

If preparations for use began before the 5 years period above expired, the registration will not be revoked if use begins or resumes after the 5 year period has expired so long as the proprietor was unaware that an application for revocation might be filed.

The safest way to safeguard one's right is to ensure that you undertake a search before using a mark, as a brand, and if a proposed mark is available, to register it in the jurisdiction in which you will be operating / trading.

For more information, contact your usual adviser, or email us here.