Trade-marks - You Snooze, You Lose
Even if you have gone to the trouble of registering your trade-marks, there are many ways that you can lose them. Here are a few of them:
- Allow related companies to use your trade-marks without having a written license agreement in place that meets the requirements of the Trade-Marks Act.
- Do a corporate reorganization for tax purposes that changes the ownership of the trade-marks without formally transferring the trade-marks under the Trade-Marks Act or without changing the trade-mark notices on your products or marketing materials or taking other steps to make the public aware of the change.
- Change your address or your lawyers and do not update the address for service with the Registrar of Trade-Marks so that you do not receive notice when your trade-mark has to be renewed after 15 years.
- Make changes to the trade-mark, such as updating the logo, so you cannot prove use of the trade-mark as registered.
- Allow third parties to use the same trade-mark for similar goods or services without challenging their right to do so.
- If you receive a notice from the Registrar of Trade-Marks requiring you to prove that you are still using the trade-mark, do not immediately get professional help to respond.
Pallett Valo LLP
Photo by Maureen T. McKay