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Trade Mark ‘Use’ Requirements

21 May 2019

The purpose of a trade mark registration is to protect marks that are either a) in use; b) intended to be used; or c) are not being used, but with a valid reason.

Where are a registered trade mark is not in use, there are common situations that arise where lack of use might impact on a) the validity of that mark; and/or b) the ability to enforce that trade mark.

Can an application be made for a mark not yet in use?

Many brand owners want to protect a new mark before it is used for the following reasons: a) to prevent situations where third parties seeing that a brand has just been launched then try to hijack the mark by applying for it first as a trade mark or domain name and b) to enable the brand owner to have a registered mark in place at the time of launch so that it can rely on it for infringement purposes. Trade mark laws accommodate these reasonable commercial desires by allowing applications to be filed before use is commenced.

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