A trademark can be cancelled if it is no longer in use
Often a trademark is already registered but not currently used by its holder or is used only nominally. This limits opportunities of others to use identic or similar mark.
In case when a trademark is registered but not used any interested person has the right to apply to the Intellectual property protection court for early cancellation of legal protection of the trademark.
Early cancellation of legal protection of the trademark can have the following results:
A trademark is considered as a trademark in use when it is used to identify those goods and services for which it is registered. In this case the trademark is placed on goods that are in civil commerce and trademark is used when services to the third parties are rendered.
After three years in use a trademark becomes vulnerable.
Proper Trademark Use
It is allowed to use a trademark with the alteration of some elements which does not influence its distinctiveness and does not limit the protection of the trademark.
Early cancellation of a trademark is a kind of civil sanction and is an effective measure preventing illegal and improper use of legally protected means of individualization of goods.
When a trademark becomes well-known
Any trademark can be cancelled early if it becomes well-known.
It happens quite often that goods marked by a certain trademark become very popular due to their high quality. The more popular such products become the more unfair competitors are trying to fake such products and sell them under the trademark which is used by the official manufacturer.
If the trademark holder does not prevent counterfeit production and does not protect his trademark then several manufacturers of one and the same product under the same trademark appear in the market. This leads to the fact that consumers perceive trademark as a kind of a certain product.
“Thermos” can be used as an example. It used to be registered as a trademark but now it is perceived solely as the product – a special container that keeps temperature of the product that was placed inside it.
If the trademark holder does not control the market and does not prohibit his trademark use then any interested person has the right to apply to Rospatent with the application to cancel early the legal protection of the trademark.
A trademark becomes well-known if a trademark is a specific designation which has been used for the identification of similar goods produced by different manufacturers. Consumers do not perceive this trademark as trademark of a certain manufacturer.