What happens if trademark is not used for 5 years

What happens if trademark is not used for 5 years?

A trademark is a distinctive symbol, word, phrase, design, or combination thereof that identifies and distinguishes the source of goods or services of one party from those of others. It serves as a valuable tool for businesses to establish their brand identity, build consumer trust, and protect their intellectual property rights. Let’s delve deeper into the definition and significance of trademarks. In this blog we are going to see what happens if trademark is not used for 5 years?

Identification and Differentiation:

At its core, a trademark is a means of identification. It allows consumers to easily recognize and distinguish the products or services of a particular company from those of its competitors.

By associating a unique trademark with their offerings, businesses can establish a distinct brand identity and build customer loyalty.

A trademark with trademark registration helps create an impression in the minds of consumers, enabling them to make informed purchasing decisions based on the reputation, quality, and attributes associated with a specific brand.

Protection of Intellectual Property:

Trademarks are a form of intellectual property that can be legally protected. By obtaining trademark registration, businesses gain exclusive rights to use the registered mark in connection with their goods or services.

This provides them with legal protection against unauthorized use, imitation, or infringement by others. Logo registration enables businesses to take legal action and seek remedies against any individual or entity that unlawfully uses their trademark, thus safeguarding their brand’s reputation and market position.

Brand Recognition and Value:

A strong trademark plays a vital role in establishing brand recognition and recall. Over time, as consumers associate a trademark with a certain level of quality, reliability, and satisfaction, the mark becomes a valuable asset for the business.

A well-known trademark becomes synonymous with the company’s reputation and expertise, enhancing its competitive advantage and attracting customers. Brand value is closely tied to trademarks, with successful brands often commanding higher market share, customer loyalty, and financial returns.

Marketing and Advertising Tool:

Trademarks serve as powerful marketing and advertising tools for businesses. A distinctive and memorable trademark can help capture consumer attention, differentiate products from competitors, and create a lasting impression.

Trademarks can be strategically used in advertising campaigns, packaging, and promotional materials to reinforce brand messaging, enhance brand recognition, and build customer trust. The use of consistent and well-recognized trademarks across different marketing channels contributes to brand consistency and strengthens the overall marketing strategy.

Licensing and Expansion Opportunities:

Trademark owners have the option to license their trademark to other businesses for use in specific markets or industries. Licensing agreements allow businesses to expand their brand presence, generate additional revenue streams, and leverage the reputation and goodwill associated with their trademark.

Licensing also enables businesses to enter into new markets or product categories without directly engaging in manufacturing or distribution. Properly managed licensing agreements can contribute to brand exposure, growth, and market penetration.

Non-use of Trademark

In India, a trademark registration is valid for a period of 10 years from the date of filing the application. After the expiry of this period, the trademark owner must renew the registration if they wish to continue to use and protect the trademark. However, there is another important aspect that trademark owners must be aware of, which is the concept of non-use of a trademark.

According to Indian trademark law, a trademark can be cancelled on the grounds of non-use. This means that if a trademark has not been used for a continuous period of five years, it may be subject to cancellation. The rationale behind this provision is to prevent trademark owners from hoarding trademarks and preventing others from using them without any intention of actually using the trademark themselves.

The non-use of a trademark refers to a situation where a trademark owner has not used the trademark in relation to the goods or services for which it has been registered for a continuous period of five years. In such a case, any person interested in using the trademark can apply to the Registrar of Trademarks for the cancellation of the trademark registration on the grounds of non-use.

The Registrar of Trademarks will examine the application and give notice to the trademark owner to show cause as to why the trademark should not be cancelled. If the trademark owner fails to provide a satisfactory response, the Registrar may order the cancellation of the brand name registration.

It is important to note that the non-use of a trademark must be proved by the person seeking cancellation. This means that they must provide evidence to show that the trademark has not been used in relation to the goods or services for which it has been registered for a continuous period of five years. This evidence could include sales data, advertising material, and any other relevant documentation.

It is also important to note that there are certain exceptions to the non-use provision. For example, if the non-use of the trademark is due to circumstances beyond the control of the trademark owner, such as a government ban on the use of the trademark, then the trademark owner may be able to avoid cancellation of the trademark registration.

In addition, trademark owners can file an application for a trademark registration restoration within one year of the cancellation of the registration on the grounds of non-use. If the Registrar of Trademarks is satisfied that the non-use was due to special circumstances that prevented the use of the trademark, they may order the restoration of the trademark registration.


The non-use of a trademark for a continuous period of five years can lead to the cancellation of the trademark registration in India. Therefore, it is important for trademark owners to use their trademarks continuously and in relation to the goods or services for which they have been registered in order to maintain their trademark protection.

If there are circumstances beyond the control of the trademark owner that prevent the use of the trademark, they should document these circumstances and be prepared to provide evidence if necessary to avoid cancellation of their trademark registration.