Recent Changes To When Trade Marks Can Be Removed For Non-Use
Until recently, registered marks in Australia have been afforded a grace period of 5 years, commencing from the filing date onward. During this time, a mark is not vulnerable to applications for removal on the ground of non-use under section 92(4)(b) of the Australian Trade Marks Act 1995 (Cth)(the ‘Act’).
Over recent years, there has been a significant push in Australia for unused marks to be more easily removed from the trade mark register. As a result, a recent change to section 93(2) of the Act reduces the grace period to 3 years from the date the mark is registered. This change will apply to marks filed from 24 February 2019.
It is important to note that, while the length of the Australian grace period has been reduced, the effective start date for calculating this period is now to be calculated from the registration date, rather than the filing date. This will necessarily have the clock start running from a later date.