Trade mark invalidation
After a trade mark has been registered, it can still come up against problems. A mark can be ruled as invalid, meaning it will be removed from the register.
Anyone can make a claim of trade mark invalidation for a number of reasons. The key reasons for which a mark will be seen as invalid are in line with the registration guidelines set out in sections 3 and 5 of the Trade Marks Act 1994, the absolute and relative grounds for refusal. However these are adapted slightly and outlined in section 47 of the same act. The key reasons for which a mark would be invalid includes lack of distinctiveness and presence of descriptiveness as well as a clear similarity between the mark and a mark that has been previously registered.
The application can be for a complete removal from the register or from just a classification of goods or services it is registered for.
Each case for invalidation is considered by the UK Intellectual Property Office, with a notice issued to the owner of the mark in question.
If you are looking to instigate an application for invalidation to the UK IPO, a TM26(i) form which is an application to declare invalid a registration or protected international trade mark must be submitted accompanied by a £200 fee.
Contact trademarkroom for any assistance
By Ellis Sweetenham