Can I own a trademark and not necessarily use it?
What will happen if I don't use a trademark for a period of time, e.g. will it be removed?
Technically, yes - but I wouldn't encourage it!
Trademarks are vulnerable to removal if they are not used for a period of time, or, if at the time of filing the application the applicant had no intention to use the trademark in good faith.
A trademark may be removed on the above basis by application of a third party - so, if another person/business didn't think you were using your trademark any longer and wanted it off the database they could make an application seeking to remove it. (This would usually occur if someone was trying to register a similar trademark and yours was coming up as a problem for them). (So, technically you could continue to own a trademark without using it because it may be that no-one ever seeks to remove it).
In the above circumstances though, if you ARE still using your trademark or believe you deserve to keep your registration there are options to oppose 'removal applications' so this should be considered and assistance sought.
Just building on @Jacqui Pryor 's answer, there are several reasons why someone can apply for a trademark removal application:
- the trade mark has not been used by the trademark owner
- the trademark hasn't been used in good faith
- the owner had no intention to use the trademark
Like Jacqui said, this might not happen. However, if you do receive an application you have to option to oppose it by filing a 'notice of intention to oppose'. This form must be filed within two months of receiving the removal application. Anyone has the right to oppose the removal of a trade mark, but it's typically the owner of the trademark.