RHGObtaining registration of trademark can be a lengthy and at times costly process. Creating an intellectual property right from the seed of an idea is however a worthwhile pursuit – provided all the hard work doesn’t go to waste by your failure to use it.

IP Australia, the government agency responsible for administering intellectual property rights and legislation, is warning holders of trademarks to use their IP or risk losing their rights – failure to utilise your intellectual property can see a person or company apply to have your trademark removed from the register.

An application for removal can be commenced if you have not utilised your trademark for a period of three years, or if you did not have an intention of using the trademark when you filed your application for approval (as evidenced by never having utilised your trademark).

Obviously competitors are the most common applicants for removal – they might be wishing to register a similar trademark and your IP is hindering their registration. And fair enough where you are effectively “sitting” on a trademark to deliberately prevent your competition from being able to utilise similar words or logos, without actually using the trademark in your own marketing or business.

An application for removal must be defended by the holder of the trademark – failure to oppose the application will see it succeed and your trademark will be deregistered. Deregistration not only means your competitor will get a foot in the door, but also that you will need to re-apply for registration which could be difficult if your competitor has since filed a similar trademark.

So the moral of the story is as simple as “use it or lose it”. If your business has gone to the effort and expense of registering a trademark, taking time to manage your IP rights by ensuring the trademark is used regularly is a worthwhile investment to maintain your market advantage.

If you are considering IP registration, contact the team at Everingham Solomons. We are well equipped to assist you with all your intellectual property enquiries because Helping You is Our Business.

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