Trademark registration is the greatest gift that you can give to your business. It shields the brand of your company - protecting it from infringers and ensuring that while the protection is active, you are the exclusive owner of the brand. However, the protection is only valid for a finite time.
As per the trademark registration laws, one cannot enjoy the rights to their brands for more than ten years. Afterwards, renewal needs to happen. However, the purpose of this blog is not to stop you from thinking about the finiteness of this protection - but how valuable this protection can be.
Duration of Trademark registration is well defined under the Trade Mark Act, 1999. Section 25 of the 1999 Act provides that registration of a Trade Mark shall be for a period of 10 years, renewable for another period of 10 years from the date of expiration of the original registration or the last renewal of registration, subject to payment of renewal fees and application made in the prescribed manner.
However, what is written above is the law that needs to be complied with, but one can make Trademark a lifetime asset because Law does not prohibit the applicant to renew its life. Therefore, we can also say that the life or duration of Trade Mark is infinite subject to the fulfilment of certain conditions including renewal fees.
Therefore, it is usually said that trademarks are ageless and perpetual. Legally, no restrictions exist as to the limitation of the registration of a trademark over the period of time and its continual renewals.
If we look at it from a business point of view then we shall find that once the Trade Mark is registered, it becomes an asset for the business and since it is an intangible asset, no physical deterioration is possible which again makes its economic life infinite as well.
However, being intangible does not mean it cannot cease to exist. A trademark, like many assets, is governed by the rules of the government. And when the government sees fit, the protection it provides can be removed.
So, is it possible to ensure that your brand gets infinite protection? Yes, and no.
Having discussed so far, one thing should be kept in mind that to make trade Mark life infinite required a lot of effort because it's just not about the renewal fees rather maintaining the Trade Mark value, continuous market research is required in a strategic manner which represents the whole business planning.
This research has to be done with the view that someone, somewhere is eyeing your brand - hoping to use it for their purposes as soon as you stop paying attention to it.
It may be possible that after registering the Trade Mark one can think that he is secured for ten years (protection required under law) but it will not be the case if that Trade Mark is no more in use or has no economic value because it may alive in the eye of the law, but in a true business sense its life and value is zero.
In this parlance, if a generalised statement can be inferred then that should be like the life of trademarks in hi-tech and innovation-driven industries mainly software industries is shorter than in consumer goods.
It does. The protection that trademark registration provides, even if finite, is strong. It has enough strength to elevate your business with proper marketing and it is sturdy enough to help you retain your place in the market that has all but forgotten about you. So, yes, the life of the trademark does matter - all you need to do is keep renewing it to push it forward.