Legal AdviceTrademarks

Challenging Trademark Rights After Five Years of Registration

An aggrieved person can challenge the rights of a trademark owner on certain grounds. In this article, you will find all details about challenging trademark rights after five years of trademark registration.

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Challenging the Registration of a Trademark


To challenge a trademark means to object to its registration. When a trademark registration is less than five years, there are certain grounds on which the trademark rights can be challenged as laid down by the Trademark Act., 1999. But once a registered trademark gets older than five years, it becomes more difficult to invalidate or challenge the trademark rights.

Who Can Challenge the Registration of a Trademark in India?


A registered trademark can be challenged by any aggrieved party in India. An aggrieved party is any person or company :

  • Whose interest lies in the removal of the trademark in question, or
  • Whose interest is damaged if the entry of the registered trademark remains in the trademark journal.

Challenging a Trademark After Five Years of Registration


Once a trademark registration period is over five years, then it can be cancelled on any of the following grounds:

  1. The registered trademark has become too generic for the goods and services, or a certain portion of the mark has become common
  2. The trademark defines a functional use
  3. The registered trademark is derogatory
  4. The proprietor has lawfully abandoned his or her trademark
  5. If the trademark has been registered in a fraudulent manner or the trademark has not been published under the Trademark Act, 1999
  6. If the registered trademark is deceptive, scandalous, or immoral, or the owner allows the use of the trademark incorrectly.

Cancellation on the Grounds of Non-use of the Registered Trademark


A registered trademark can be cancelled if a registered trademark proprietor does not use the trademark for five years or more, concerning the goods or services it was registered for. Such five years are calculated from the entry date of the trademark in the trademark register. 


Circumstances Under Which the Non-use of a Registered Trademark Would Not Result in Cancellation


There are certain exceptions to such cancellation if the proprietor provides special reasons with evidence for the non-use of the trademark. The trademark law of India has rolled out the following three such situations where the non-use of a registered trademark would not result in cancellation:

  • If an applicant wants to form a company and then register the trademark under the Companies Act, 2013. The trademark law thus provides an exception to the non-usage of the trademark while waiting to assign the trademark to the company
  • If the trademark owner intends to get the registration in the name of another person, it cannot be removed
  • A registered trademark cannot be cancelled if the non-use of the trademark is not because of the proprietor’s mistake, but some special commercial circumstances such as the imposition of the non-use by the law 
  • Certain companies may be required to wait for international or domestic approval. In such interim period, the registered trademark shall be excused from cancellation due to non-use.

Things to Remember for Trademark Cancellation


  • The application form to cancel the trademark application has to be filed in triplicate
  • The cancellation petition must mention and explain all the details, and the grounds on which such cancellation is being applied for 
  • The applicant’s arguments must be supported with strong evidence for the cancellation to be successful.

How Vakilserarch’s Services Can Benefit You 


As the process of cancellation of a registered trademark may seem tedious, long, and cumbersome, it is suggested to approach legal experts like Vakilsearch. Professionals at Vakilsearch can guide you throughout the cancellation process, and provide you with legal advice that could help you in your claims for cancellation of a registered trademark. The business experts at Vakilsearch stay updated with the latest rules, regulations, and laws, so that they perform the trademark services rightfully, and lawfully.

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