You can renew UK registered trade marks every ten years. You must apply for renewal on time or your trade mark registration may expire.
When do UK registered trade marks expire?
Registration will expire ten years from the date of your trade mark application. You can renew your trade mark:
- in the six months before your registration expiry date
- up to six months after your registration expires – this is known as 'late renewal'
The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) will send you a renewal reminder about six months before the registration expires (previously this period was four months). You will get a 'renewal certificate' following the successful renewal of your trade mark.
Trade mark renewal fees in the UK
You will have to pay a renewal fee of £200 for one class of goods or services your trade mark is in. It will cost an additional £50 for each extra class. Late renewals will incur an extra £50 fee.
Restoring a trade mark
If you fail to renew your trade mark in time, the IPO will remove it from the register. You may be able to restore if:
- it expired less than a year ago (from your renewal date)
- you pay the appropriate fee
- you explain to the IPO why you failed to renew your mark in time.
Under the new Trade Mark Regulations 2018, certain rules around restoring lapsed trade marks have changed. From 14 January 2019, to restore your mark, you will have to satisfy the IPO that your failure to renew was unintentional. You also won't be able to take infringement action against someone who used your expired mark in good faith while the mark was off the register. Find out more about the changes to trade mark law in the UK.
Restoration is not automatic. It will cost you an additional £100 on top of the usual renewal fees. You must apply by post to restore your expired trade mark.
What happens when a trade mark expires?
If you choose not to renew or restore your registration, your trade mark will lapse after one year.
If you have allowed the registration to lapse, but you still use the trade mark, you may have residual goodwill in your brand or common law passing off rights based on use.
Can you claim a dead trade mark?
A registered trade mark may be dead or inactive for several reasons, including withdrawal, refusal, cancellation, surrender or removal. A trade mark may also be considered dead if it hasn't been renewed and the period of restoration has expired.
Just because a mark is listed as 'dead', doesn't mean that it is available. Someone may be using the mark, or accruing goodwill and recognition under the mark, so common law rights may apply.
Before you decide to use a dead mark, seek advice from a trade mark attorney to clear the rights to the mark, and make sure that you fully understand the circumstances around its status. Find a chartered trade mark attorney near you.
It is your responsibility to make sure that you keep your trade mark current by paying the appropriate renewal fees on time. If you change your name, address or email details, you must also update the record of your registration on the trade mark register - see how to amend your trade mark registration.