Your trademark registration shall be in force for (10) years, and may be renewed indefinitely for periods of ten (10) years. However, to maintain your trademark registration, the IP Code requires you to file a declaration and evidence of actual use, otherwise, the protection granted to your mark will lapse. Thus, by law, you must submit a Declaration of Actual Use and proof of use (e.g., labels, brochures, and other evidence that you are using the mark) within the following periods:
- three (3) years from the date of filing your application; and
- one (1) year from the 5th anniversary of the date of registration of your mark.
The filing of Declarations of Actual use is also needed upon renewal and mid-renewal.
Actual use of the mark in commerce is very important because if you are not using the mark in your business, your mark will be removed from the trademarks register. To prove use of the mark, you need to submit the declarations of use within the prescribed period.
A trademark right is a private right and the trademark owner needs to take charge of the monitoring and enforcement of this right.