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Trademark portfolio management: audit, maintain and protect rights

A trademark is not a static right; registered marks need regular audit reviews and maintenance if they are to remain valid and enforceable. Broadly, this takes two forms:

  • the regular payment of renewal fees (or annuities) that is necessary in most jurisdictions to maintain the registered trademark right; and,
  • proactive portfolio management via trademark audit, title updates/recordals and other related services.

This is a basic introduction to trademark portfolio management. For further information on the process of registering or enforcing a trademark or to read more about Novagraaf’s specific trademark services, click here for our services overview page. To contact one of our attorneys or to review their expertise in your sector, click here.

Portfolio management: why do I need to pay renewal fees?

In most jurisdictions, renewal fees (or annuities) must be paid in order to maintain a registered trademark right and keep it in force. Although the exact formalities and timeframes can vary country by country, the renewal is generally payable every 10 years. Unlike patent rights, there is no limit on the lifetime of a mark. It will exist for as long as renewal payments continue to be made. Missing a renewal deadline is not recommended, as trademark rights – once lapsed – cannot generally be reacquired; and, even where they can, it is a needlessly expensive process.

For this reason, it’s generally advisable for companies with a portfolio of trademark rights to employ the services of a specialist third-party to ensure that the rights are renewed and maintained. Click here for more information on services that can help companies to manage their trademark renewals.

Portfolio management: why audit your portfolio?

Without regular audits of an active trademark portfolio it can be easy to lose sight of the rights and trademark-protected brands, logos, slogans and related design and domain name rights that it contains. For example, are core brands and products fully protected? Have the trademark rights been correctly maintained (e.g. by registering any changes in address or other title updates?) Are you renewing rights in the portfolio for brands that you no longer need or use? Could any of those trademark rights be licensed or sold for profit? A trademark portfolio audit analyses the trademarks in a current portfolio, examining the strength of those rights and their usefulness to your business. Find out more about Novagraaf’s trademark auditing services.

Portfolio management: further information

You can find out more about trademarks and the processes for obtaining, enforcing and exploiting trademark rights, here. For information on Novagraaf’s trademark services, including searching, watching, international filing, anti-counterfeiting and enforcement support, click here for our services overview page. Alternatively, contact our customer support team, using the contact form at the top right of this page.