The case of Aiwa Co. Ltd v Aiwa Corporation is a useful reminder to brand owners, particularly those who are looking to revive a brand, of what amounts to “genuine use” of a registered trade mark. The case particularly considers whether the sale of second-hand goods by third parties in the UK can constitute genuine use of a UK registered trade mark.
A registered trade mark owner can rely on its registered trade marks to stop third parties from registering the same or similar marks, but only if the mark has been put to genuine use in the UK. In many cases, the third party will retaliate by challenging the validity of the trade mark (on the basis the mark has not been put to genuine use). If the challenge is successful, the Courts may order the trade mark to be revoked. This amounts to a ‘use it or lose it’ policy, which can cause difficulties for many brand owners. Continue Reading