What is worth remembering after trademark registration? [Article on]

Author: Agnieszka Skrzypczak

Obtaining the right from registration of a trademark, whether it is a European Union trademark (EUTM) or a trademark registered at the Polish Patent Office, on one hand provides a wide range of possibilities for building and securing the potential of one?s mark, and gives access to many opportunities arising from ownership of industrial property rights, but on the other hand it also requires some commitment on the part of the trademark holder.

The strategy of management of a protected trademark depends on the owner of the mark. It is determined by a number of factors, such as the owner?s areas of interest, the company of the owner and his portfolio of industrial property rights.

In general, one should remember about three fundamental issues to be taken into consideration after registration:

A trademark, which has obtained protection, must be put to genuine use!

As it has been mentioned above, rights are accompanied by obligations. The right granted in trademark registration (or trademark protection right, as it is defined under the Polish Industrial Property Law) is a powerful tool to build the position of the mark on the market. However, the monopoly held by the owner should serve a specific purpose, otherwise the owner risks losing it.

The key role of a trademark is to distinguish the goods and/or services of the right holder from those offered by competitors in the market. Therefore, it is required that a protected trademark is put to genuine use. If it is not used by the right holder, some third parties may challenge toe holder?s right to the trademark on the grounds of non-use. The relevant regulations stipulate that a EU trademark or a national mark must be used in a genuine way in the European Union or in Poland for five years after registration (the moment of obtaining the right of protection).

According to the Law on Industrial Property ? the right of protection for a trademark may be revoked in consequence of the following:

? the loss by the mark of distinctive features due to the fact that, as a result of the right holder?s actions or negligence, it has become a customary sign in trade ? consisting only of elements that can be used in trade to indicate, in particular, the kind of goods, their quality, quantity, price, purpose, manner, time or place of manufacture, composition, function or usefulness ? in relation to the goods, for which it was registered;

? the actions of the right holder or, with his consent, the actions of third parties, when the trademark is likely to mislead the public, in particular as to the nature, characteristics or geographical origin of the designated goods;

? deletion from the relevant register of the entity with legal personality that was the holder of the trademark protection right.

What is the use of a trademark?

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