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How Can You Maintain Your Trademark After Filing?

How Can You Maintain Your Trademark After Filing

How Can You Maintain Your Trademark After Filing?

Congratulations! You have registered your trademark and taken the first step toward protecting your brand and assets. Securing trademark registration marks a significant milestone, symbolizing the culmination of a meticulous application process. However, it’s crucial to recognize that the journey doesn’t end with registration; instead, it signals the commencement of an ongoing commitment to protect your brand and assets. While the trademark office facilitates trademark registration, the primary responsibility for safeguarding and upholding your mark rests with you. The first and fundamental step in trademark maintenance is the continued use of your trademark. It’s important to note that trademark rights don’t solely arise from registration; they originate from the active use of your trademark during your business. In this blog, we’ll explore essential ways to ensure your trademark’s enduring strength and protection after the filing process.

What is a Trademark?

A trademark is a distinctive sign that identifies and distinguishes the goods or services of one business from those of others. It can take various forms, including words, logos, symbols, or a combination of these elements. The trademark registration process in India is governed by the Trade Marks Act of 1999, ensuring legal protection and exclusive rights to the trademark owner.

What is Trademark Registration?

Trademark registration in India is the legal process that gives exclusive rights and protection to a unique sign, symbol, name, or logo that distinguishes the goods or services of one business from others. The owner applies to register a trademark with the Office of the Controller General of Patents, Designs, and Trademarks. The application goes through examination, publication, and a possible opposition period. If successful, the trademark is registered, granting exclusive rights for ten years, with the option for renewal. This process is vital for businesses to protect their brand identity in the Indian market.

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Why Maintain Trademark After Filing?

Maintaining a trademark after filing is critical to safeguarding and maximizing the value of your intellectual property. Here are key reasons why maintaining a trademark after filing is essential:

  • Exclusive Rights: A trademark gives exclusive rights to your brand’s symbol, name, or design. Regular maintenance ensures you keep these rights, preventing others from using similar marks.
  • Brand Protection: Actively looking after your trademark helps protect your brand identity and reputation. By keeping an eye out and taking action against potential infringers, you maintain the uniqueness and goodwill of your brand.
  • Legal Compliance: Trademark laws have rules for renewals and compliance. Not following these rules can lead to losing your trademark protection. Regular maintenance keeps you in line with legal requirements.
  • Preventing Generic Terms: Regular use and protection of your trademark prevent it from becoming a generic term for a product or service category. This ensures that your brand continues to represent quality and uniqueness.
  • Boosting Market Position: A well-maintained trademark positively impacts consumers’ perception of your brand. This can build trust and loyalty, influencing the success of your business.
  • Avoiding Abandonment: Neglecting your trademark may lead to its abandonment. Regular use and meeting renewal deadlines prevent the risk of losing your trademark rights.

Keeping your trademark in check after filing involves staying vigilant, enforcing your rights, and meeting legal requirements. It’s essential for protecting your brand and ensuring your business’s ongoing success.

Ways to Maintain Your Trademark After Filing

The journey to securing your trademark was a meticulous process involving thorough trademark research, application submissions, and waiting periods. However, it’s crucial to recognize that the real work begins after the registration. Protecting and defending your trademark is an ongoing commitment vital for maintaining its value and exclusivity in the market.

There are essential post-registration steps to ensure proper use, maintenance, and protection of your registered trademark.

Remember Trademark Renewal Dates

In India, the Registrar grants a trademark registration for ten years. Consequently, from the date specified in the registration certificate, the validity of a trademark registration spans a decade. The Registrar is responsible for officially recording the trademark registration in the Register of Trademarks upon issuance.

To ensure the continuity of trademark protection beyond the initial ten-year period, trademark owners must proactively engage in the renewal process. By submitting a trademark renewal application to the Registrar before the expiration of the initial registration, the trademark owner can successfully extend the term of the trademark registration for an additional ten years. This proactive step is crucial for maintaining the ongoing protection and exclusivity of the registered trademark in the Indian market.

Correct Usage of Trademark Symbols in India

You likely employed the ™ symbol throughout the trademark application process to signify your mark. However, upon successful registration, it becomes imperative to switch to the ® symbol, the small circled “R.”

This transition is a public announcement of your registration status and aligns with the standards set by the Controller General of Patents, Designs, and Trademarks in India. It is not just a formality; using the correct symbol is crucial for maintaining the strength of your trademark.

Here are key areas where you must ensure the proper use of the ® symbol:

  • Product Packaging or Labeling – Incorporate the ® symbol prominently on your product packaging or labelling.
  • Marketing and Advertising Art and Copy – Integrate the ® symbol into your marketing materials, advertisements, and accompanying copy.
  • Website and Online Platforms – Update your website and other platforms where your brand is present to include the ® symbol next to your registered trademark.

Monitoring New Trademark Filings in India

It’s crucial to stay vigilant and monitor new trademark filings to safeguard the strength and distinctiveness of your mark in India. The Indian trademark landscape may see registrations that could be perceived as too similar to yours, potentially impacting the uniqueness of your brand. As a registered trademark owner, you can formally oppose any new trademark that risks infringing on your established mark.

  • Keep an eye on the market for trademark infringement. Trademark rights are built through usage, not just trademark registration.
  • To maintain competitiveness and safeguard your trademark, it’s essential to look beyond official filings with the Indian Trademark Office and stay informed about any entities in the marketplace using your mark or similar ones without authorization.
  • Failure to actively and promptly enforce your mark could allow the infringing party to argue that its mark has gained enough strength to be considered legitimate and recognizable independently. There’s even a risk of them challenging your mark based on grounds of nonuse or nonenforcement if you don’t take active measures.

Broaden the scope of your trademark protection when necessary to align with changes in your business or product offerings. Your current business or product landscape might differ from when you initially filed your trademark application. Securing expanded trademark coverage at the earliest opportunity is advantageous.

Expand Trademark Coverage When Necessary

Consider these scenarios where expanded trademark coverage might be warranted:

  • Expansion into New Industries: If your business diversifies into new industries, filing additional trademarks covering each distinct class of goods or services is prudent. This ensures comprehensive protection as your business evolves.
  • New Logos or Branding: Rebranding efforts that involve new logos and branding should prompt an update to your trademark specimen. This ensures that your trademark registration accurately reflects how your company is now identified, providing robust protection for your renewed image.
  • New Packaging or Labeling: Introducing new packaging or designs for product labels necessitates an update to your trademark specimen. This showcases the fresh utilization of your mark and aligns your trademark registration with the evolving visual representation of your products.

By proactively expanding your trademark coverage in response to these changes, you fortify the protection of your intellectual property. It’s a strategic move that anticipates and accommodates the dynamic nature of your business, ensuring that your trademarks accurately reflect the scope and identity of your brand.

Take Action the Right Way When Enforcing Trademarks

When addressing trademark infringement, it’s crucial to take action judiciously. While it’s understandable that you want to protect your trademarks, it’s essential to proceed cautiously. Sending a cease-and-desist or a stern letter might have legal implications, and ensuring that your actions align with your enforcement rights is imperative. Any statements made should be considered carefully to avoid potential repercussions in the event of a business lawsuit or other litigation. To navigate the situation appropriately, it’s advisable to approach trademark enforcement with a clear understanding of the legal landscape.


In conclusion, safeguarding a trademark doesn’t conclude with the filing process; it’s an ongoing commitment that demands continuous attention and strategic actions. From thorough searches before application to addressing office actions and remaining vigilant against digital threats, each step plays a crucial role in maintaining the strength and resilience of your trademark. In India, adhering to post-registration requirements, promptly addressing objections, and staying proactive in monitoring filings are paramount. By diligently executing these measures, businesses can ensure their trademarks’ enduring protection and effectiveness in a dynamic and competitive business environment.

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