The Modernization of Classic Brands and Its Impact on the Expiry of the Original Registration

Posted on: 2/7/2024

The Modernization of Classic Brands and Its Impact on the Expiry of the Original Registration

In the dynamic world of business, brands are more than just words, symbols, or images; they represent a company's identity and promise to its audience. As companies evolve, there often arises the need to modernize their classic brands to stay competitive. However, this modernization can raise important legal issues, especially related to the expiry of the original brand registration.

The Impact of Modernization on the Expiry of the Registration

The expiry of a brand, that is, the cancellation of its registration due to non-use, occurs when the brand is no longer used by the owner concerning the products and/or services protected by the respective registration, for a period exceeding five years. It is important to clarify that for a brand to be declared expired, a third party must request the declaration of expiry before the competent authority, in this case, the INPI (National Institute of Industrial Property). Therefore, the act of modernizing a classic brand does not automatically result in the expiry of the registration.

Modernizing a classic brand, such as updating its logo, stylizing letters, or altering visual elements to reflect new trends, can be seen as a vital strategy for brand continuity. However, this raises the crucial question: does the modernized brand allow for the maintenance of its registration?

Legal Aspects of Modernization

According to current legislation in most countries, the modernization of a brand does not necessarily result in the expiry of the original registration, as long as the essential distinctive character of the brand does not undergo a substantial alteration. This means that the changes should not significantly alter the essential character of the brand so that the consumer can still associate it with the same product or service.

One of the main challenges in modernizing brands is maintaining the balance between innovation and continuity. Companies must consider whether the changes might be perceived as a new brand, which would require a new registration and could potentially open space for legal challenges from third parties.

Additionally, modernization should be documented and accompanied by marketing strategies that reinforce the brand's continuity in the market. This aspect is crucial to avoid expiry, as it demonstrates the continuous and effective use of the brand in commerce.

Modernizing a classic brand is a strategic decision that requires careful consideration of its legal impacts. To ensure continuous protection, companies must ensure that the changes maintain the brand's essential character, reinforcing its presence in the market while avoiding the risks of registration expiry. In this way, modernization can serve as a bridge between tradition and innovation, preserving the brand's legacy while propelling it into the future.

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