6 months ago
What Is Non-Use Of Trademark?
Trademarks are very important to businesses because they are used to distinguish between companies’ goods and/or services. Trademarks can appear in the form of words, letters, names, signatures, numerals, figurative elements, illustrations, headings, etc. or in any combination of these elements. Trademarks must be registered in order for them to be protected and to prevent others from using similar marks that may mislead the public or harm one’s business. Using a registered trademark without prior consent for purposes other than editorial and informational use is considered trademark infringement and can result in criminal charges. Therefore, it is important for businesses to create their own distinctive marks.
If your company intends to register a trademark in Singapore but discovers another trademark with similar characteristics registered by a different party, you will have to apply to revoke the party’s mark in order to proceed with your trademark application without facing trademark infringement charges. However, the application to revoke a trademark will only proceed on the grounds of non-use.
What is Non-Use of Trademark?
Non-use of a trademark means that the company has not used its trademark in the course of business in Singapore for five years from the date of registration, and the party is unable to provide a valid reason for not using the mark. Businesses that wish to revoke another party’s registered trademark will need to prove a non-use of the trademark.
Revocation of Trademark
1. To begin, file an application for revocation with the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS). The application must be accompanied by a statement of grounds detailing the reasons for revoking the trade mark.
2. If the party intends to contest the application, they must file a counter-statement within two months.
3. Both parties will receive a Notification to Registrar form, which must be completed and submitted to IPOS within one month of the counter-statement being filed. It includes an additional form on which parties can indicate whether they want to resolve the dispute through mediation.
4. One of the most important steps to revoking a trademark is the filing of evidence proving the party’s non-use of their trademark. In order for the court to grant this, the business applying for the revocation must show that the trademark has not been put to genuine use or has been inactive for five consecutive years since its registration and that there is no good reason for the party to not make use of the mark. Evidence can be gathered with the help of trademark investigation services.
If your business is successful in revoking the other party’s trademark, their rights in the mark will cease on the date of the revocation application or another date set by the Singapore Courts. Following the successful revocation of the trademark, your company can apply to register its own trademark. Once it is registered, you are encouraged to make full use of the mark in the course of trade in Singapore. This prevents a subsequent party from attempting to revoke the registered mark five years later.
Trademark investigation services are necessary whether you intend to apply to revoke an existing trademark or gather information about a trademark infringement. CDiC Consultant offers trademark investigation services in Singapore to safeguard your business interests. Find out more about our services here.