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Trademark Maintenance: How To Keep Your Trademark Alive & Breathing?

Trademarks are an important feature that helps a business identify its products or services. The law determines who can make money off a particular trademark and how long it should be given certain privileges before anyone else can come in and start using it.

In order to register your trademark, there are two things that you will need to do: find out the law on trademark registration in India and make sure that you comply with the requirements for registration. Find out more about trademark maintenance in India here.

What Is Trademark Maintenance?

Trademark maintenance refers to the activities that enterprises or individual rights holders undertake to ensure the constant validity of their trademarks. Maintaining a trademark involves renewing the registration, filing certain documents at regular intervals, using the trademark in commerce, and updating correspondence information

Regularly monitoring and enforcing your trademark rights is essential to retain its distinctiveness and prevent it from becoming generic or diluted over time. Failure to maintain your trademark can lead to its cancellation, leaving your brand vulnerable to unauthorized use by others.

Cautionary Notices

Cautionary notices play a pivotal role in alerting the public and potential infringers about the ownership and protection status of your trademark. These notices are prominently displayed alongside your trademark, serving as a deterrent against unauthorized use and infringement.

Two common cautionary notices include:

™ (Trademark Symbol): This symbol indicates that you claim trademark rights in a word, logo, or design. It’s often used before a trademark is officially registered.

® (Registered Trademark Symbol): This symbol signifies that your trademark is officially registered with the relevant authorities. It highlights your exclusive rights and acts as a warning to potential infringers.

Learn About Trademark Basics

Maintaining a trademark in India can be a challenge if you are not familiar with the process or the law. However, there are some basic steps that you can take to help ensure that your trademark remains valid and protected.

First, it is important to understand what a trademark is and how it is different from other types of intellectual property. A trademark is a sign, design, or expression that distinguishes the products or services of one company from those of another company. It can be a word, phrase, logo, or a sound. Register trademark with the government and are used to prevent others from using a similar mark for their own products or services.

Second, you should use your trademark consistently and appropriately. This means using it on all of your products and marketing materials, and making sure that it is always used in the same way. If you change how you use your trademark, you could jeopardize its validity.

Finally, you need to monitor use of your trademark by others. Even if you are not using your trademark actively, others may be using it in a way that infringes on your rights. You can do this by conducting regular searches online and through public records. 

Learn more about Trademark Registration

Understanding Trademark Maintenance

Trademark maintenance involves the ongoing efforts to preserve the validity and enforceability of your registered mark. It includes activities such as monitoring, renewing, and enforcing your trademark rights. By maintaining your trademark, you safeguard your brand’s reputation and prevent the unauthorized use of similar marks that could confuse consumers.

  • Filing for Renewal
  • Sending Cautionary Notices
  • Payment of Taxes
  • Filing Affidavit of Use

Let us understand each of these subjectively.

1. Filing for Renewal

Renewal is a critical aspect of trademark maintenance. In India, trademarks are initially registered for a period of ten years, after which they must be renewed to remain in force. It is essential to keep track of the renewal deadlines and file the necessary renewal application within the stipulated timeframe to avoid any lapses in protection.

2. Send Out Cautionary Notices

To further protect your trademark, it is advisable to send cautionary notices to potential infringers or unauthorized users of similar marks. These notices serve as a preemptive measure, informing others about your rights and urging them to refrain from using marks that could create confusion in the marketplace. It is essential to maintain records of these notices for future reference, if needed.

3. Pay Your Taxes

Trademark maintenance also involves fulfilling your financial obligations related to your mark. This includes paying the required taxes and fees associated with maintaining your trademark registration. Timely payment ensures that your mark remains active and protected, preserving your exclusive rights.

4. Affidavit of Use

In some jurisdictions, including India, the submission of an Affidavit of Use is required during the renewal process. This affidavit confirms that you have been using the trademark in commerce for the goods or services listed in the registration. It is crucial to provide accurate and up-to-date information to maintain the validity of your trademark.

Additional Points of Consideration:

  • Use the Appropriate Trademark for Which You Filed the Application: Consistently use your registered trademark as filed with the trademark office. Deviations from the approved format may weaken your rights.
  • Don’t Give in to Genericide: Protect the distinctiveness of your mark by educating consumers about its specific association with your brand. Avoiding generic use of your mark prevents it from becoming a generic term.
  • Constant Vigilance on New Filings: Monitor new trademark filings to identify any potential conflicts or infringements. Taking proactive measures against similar marks can help preserve the strength of your trademark.
  • Don’t Shy Away from Enforcing Your Mark: If you discover any unauthorized use or infringement of your mark, take prompt action to enforce your rights. This may involve sending cease and desist letters or initiating legal proceedings when necessary.
  • Update Your Trademark Portfolio: Regularly review and update your trademark portfolio to ensure it reflects your current branding strategy. This includes assessing the need to register additional marks or making amendments to existing registrations.
  • Beware of Scammers: Remain cautious of fraudulent solicitations disguised as official trademark-related communications. Verify the authenticity of any correspondence and consult with trusted legal professionals to avoid falling victim to scams.

Guidelines on Maintaining Your Trademark in India

As a business owner, it is important to take the necessary steps to protect your company’s intellectual property, including trademarks. In India, there are several ways that you can maintain your trademark and keep it in good standing. 

First, use your mark consistently and make sure it is being used as a trademark. This means using it to identify the source of your goods or services and not using it as a generic term. You should also include the relevant symbols next to your mark to indicate that it is registered. 

Second, monitor third-party use of your mark and take action against any unauthorized use. This includes sending cease and desist letters or taking legal action if necessary. 

Third, keep your registration up to date by renewing it every ten years. This will help to prevent others from claiming rights to your mark and help keep it strong. 

Other Important Points to Keep In Mind Regarding Trademarks

There are a few other things to keep in mind when it comes to maintaining your trademark in India. First, you should be aware of the difference between a registered and unregistered trademark. A registered trademark is one that has been officially registered with the Indian government, while an unregistered trademark is one that has not been registered.

If you have a registered trademark, you will need to renew it every ten years. You can do this by filing a form with the Trademarks Registry. If you have an unregistered trademark, you can still use it, but you will not have the same level of legal protection as a registered trademark.

Another thing to keep in mind is that your trademark can be revoked if it is not used for a period of five years. If you do not use your trademark during this time, someone else may be able to register it. To avoid this, make sure to use your trademark regularly and keep it up-to-date.

Finally, remember that you can only use your trademark in relation to the goods and services that it is registered for. If you want to use your trademark for other purposes, you will need to file a new application.

Myth Busters for Maintaining Your Trademark in India

Your trademark registration lasts forever. Again, this is not true! Trademark registration needs to be renewed every 10 years in order for it to remain active. If you don’t renew it, your trademark will be considered abandoned and anyone can start using it.

You need to register your trademark in every state where you plan to do business. Actually, registering your trademark at the federal level is enough. Once your trademark is registered, you can use it nationwide. However, if you want extra protection in a particular state, you can register it there as well.


1. Do I Need to Be Using My Trademark to Get It Renewed?

Yes, actively using your trademark is typically a requirement for its renewal. Many jurisdictions mandate that a trademark must be in use for the goods or services it covers to be eligible for renewal. Failing to use your trademark can lead to its cancellation or non-renewal.

2. I Acquired a Trademark Through a Trademark Assignment Agreement. Am I Responsible for Maintaining It?

Yes, as the new owner of the trademark acquired through an assignment agreement, you are responsible for its maintenance. This includes ensuring its proper usage, renewing it as required, and protecting it from infringement.


Trademark maintenance is a crucial aspect of protecting your brand identity and preserving the exclusivity of your mark. By understanding the process of renewal, sending cautionary notices, fulfilling financial obligations, and submitting the necessary documentation, you can keep your trademark alive and thriving. 

At Zolvit (formerly Vakilsearch), we offer reliable and comprehensive Trademark Renewal services, ensuring that your mark remains protected and your brand continues to make a lasting impact.

Reserve a free consultation with our experts today!

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