18. How to maintain a trademark?
To maintain protection of a trademark, the actual use of the mark in commerce should be exhibited and proven by the mark owner. This is important because having a registered trademark gives the owner exclusive right over its use, and thus bars other competitors or businesses to benefit from it. The exclusionary component of the trademark gives the business a significant edge, and therefore, there is a responsibility to prove that it is being used. A Declaration of Actual Use (DAU) is to be submitted to IPOPHL according to the following schedule: Within three (3) years from the filing of the trademark application; Within one (1) year from the fifth (5th) anniversary of the registration of the mark; and Within one (1) year from the fifth (5th) anniversary of each renewal. As per Rule 204 of IPOPHL MC No. 17-010, a DAU must be submitted for renewed registrations within one (1) year from the date of renewal of the registration. This requirement only applies for registered marks due for renewal on 01 January 2017 and onwards, regardless of the filing date of the Request for Renewal.