Abandonment and Indication of Origin

Nonuse is not the only reason a trademark can be abandoned, so is loss of significance as an indicator of origin. This can occur for a variety of reasons. One major reason can be uncontrolled licensing and a failure to maintain the quality of the goods. The owner has a duty to ensure the goods that use his trademark are consistent with the quality consumers expect from the mark, otherwise the consumer is being deceived. Another reason can be failure to take action against third party use and infringers. If the owner does not use their rights to stop such usage, then there is no way for a consumer to know where the goods are coming from. If goodwill is not transferred along with the trademark, then the assignment may be invalid and the trademark abandoned. Evidence of transferring goodwill, such as other assets, may be required to demonstrate this. Lastly, material changes to the goods which completely change the goods or make a product of inferior quality could lead to abandonment. To avoid abandonment, remember to not only use your mark, but use it in a way that it clearly indicates the source of your goods or services.

This blog is not legal advice and is not specific to your application. You should always consult an attorney.