The revocation of a trademark refers to the process by which the registration of a trademark is canceled or cancelled. In India, the revocation of a trademark can be started by either an interested party or the Registrar of Trademarks.
There are several reasons on which a trademark registration can be revoked in India:
- Non-use: If a trademark has not been used for a constant period of five years after its registration, it can be revoked. This clause is aimed at ensuring that trademarks are actively used to signify the source of goods or services.
- Abandonment: If the owner of a trademark freely abandons the use of the mark, it can be revoked. Abandonment occurs when the owner states the intention to discontinue the use of the mark and takes no action to prevent public confusion regarding the mark’s status.
- Genericness: If a trademark has become a generic term for the goods or services it represents, it can be canceled. Genericness refers to the situation where a trademark has lost its distinctiveness and is now widely used as the name of the product itself.
- Misleading or deceptive: If a trademark is found to be misleading or deceptive, it can be canceled. This usually happens when a trademark falsely suggests a connection with a particular person, institution, or geographical place.
- Non-renewal: If the owner of a trademark fails to apply for renewal within the set time period, the registration can be revoked. Trademark registrations in India are good for a period of 10 years, and owners need to file for renewal within six months prior to the expiration of the registration.
The process for revocation of a trademark in India includes filing an application with the Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) or the Registrar of Trademarks, based on the specific cause for revocation. Both the owner of the trademark and any interested party may submit evidence and reasons supporting their position.
If the Registrar of Trademarks or the IPAB decides that the request to revoke a trademark is valid, they may send a notice to the trademark owner and give them a chance to reply. The final choice is made after all the evidence and arguments from both sides have been taken into account.
It’s important to know that revoking a trademark can have big consequences for the owner. For example, the owner may lose the exclusive right to use the trademark and may have to pay fees for infringement. To keep their safety, trademark owners need to make sure they use their trademarks and follow the rules for renewing them.