Under the IP Law, the validity term of trademark registrations is ten years counting from the filing date. Such term is renewable for every ten years. The trademark owner must file a renewal request at the IP Office within six months before the expiry date. The trademark owner is also entitled to file late renewal request within six months after the expiration.
Nowadays, due to busy business work as well as not having specific monitoring system, many companies do forget the above deadline, which leads to the lost of right over its trademarks and causes damages. So, in case of missing the renewal deadline, what should the trademark owner do?
The first scenario is the owner discovers that the trademark has expired but less than six months. In this case, the owner only needs to file the renewal request as usual with a late filing penalty fee. After the valid renewal request and fee are accepted, the renewal will still take place normally, the trademark will then continue to be protected.
In the second scenario, by the time the owner finds out, the trademark has expired for more than six months. In this case, the owner should immediately re-file a new application for the expired trademark. As stipulated, trademarks which have expired within 5 years can still be cited to refuse others. That means during this time, no third party can register a trademark being identical or confusingly similar to the subject owner’s expired trademark. Therefore, the resubmitted application will be granted a protection title.
In light of the above, it can be seen that the monitoring and renewal of the trademark is indeed important. If the forgotten renewal is detected in time, the method and cost of remediation are simple. However, if it is discovered too late, the processing method and waiting time will be longer and more complicated, resulting in higher costs. Or in the worst case, the owner will officially lose the rights.
In order to avoid the above situations, SBLAW – we provide monitoring and reminding services as well as conducting all valid and timely renewal procedures. With a modern monitoring system, we will help customers maintain their legal rights in the most effective way. Customers can contact us directly for advice from our experienced lawyers in the profession.