How can I utilise my company's unused trademark?

6 replies
Hi Folks,

I handle all marketing at my current workplace, but coming from a design background, this one's really got me stumped! My MD has approached me with a task unlike anything I've covered before and I'm looking for a little advice.

I work for a specialist automotive tool company with an alternative trademarked brand (name and logo) that was registered in the 80s but that remains unused. We've recently found that someone has applied to the IPO to trademark a brand similar to this so my MD is keen for us to utilise our dormant brand to dissuade them contesting our ownership of it on the grounds that it is unused.

First thing that came to mind was pushing specific products out through this channel but we've already an alternative alias with which we do this. Perhaps using the name & logo for a publication where we can feature our own products / news that we can provide motor factors and end users with? I want to avoid a 'New Products & Special Offers' promo brochure as again, we already have this.

Any pointers in the right direction would be much appreciated, I didn't have much luck finding a similar thread! Really not sure where to get started with it. As I mentioned, it is a 'one-(wo)man-band' sort of operation here with me being the sole marketing exec. so anything manageable in terms of additional workload would be preferable!

Thanks in advance! SCP
#company #trademark #unused #utilise
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  • Profile picture of the author OptedIn
    Originally Posted by SCPowell View Post

    Thanks in advance! SCP
    Have you continuously renewed this trademark? There are time restraints on how long they can sit dormant, without being formally renewed, before the trademark is cancelled.
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    • Profile picture of the author SCPowell
      Hi there, it would look that way, the next renewal date is 2026, thanks SCP
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  • Profile picture of the author Steve B
    Make the alternative trademarked brand (including name and logo) a subsidiary of the main tool company. Put up a web site using the name and logo of the subsidiary and link it to the parent company. On the parent company web site, set up mention and link to this new brand.


    Find a reason for the alternative brand being created but state that it has been "a part of the company since 1985" (or whenever the registration took place - which is true, of course).


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    • Profile picture of the author SCPowell
      Hi Steve,

      Thanks for your response!
      I like your thinking, I'll do some digging to see if there's any products that have been in production since then and maybe make a sort of a 'vintage line' with it,

      Thank you! SCP
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    • Profile picture of the author Sid Hale
      Originally Posted by Steve B View Post

      Make the alternative trademarked brand (including name and logo) a subsidiary of the main tool company.
      You can also go the opposite direction by making the current tool company, a subsidiary of a shell company (the old trademarked name). Register that trademarked company name as a real company.

      For instance...
      We all know a company named "Google". It is their trademarked product brand, and they release many different products under that brand name. However, their parent company is relatively unknown.

      (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alphabet_Inc. )

      On your current web site (as well as any printed materials) begin showing that relationship...

      Specialist Automotive Tool Company
      A subsidiary of "Old Trademark"


      No new web site required, but you should also begin altering existing printed materials in the same way (i.e. printed brochures, stationery, company checks, signage, etc.)
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      • Profile picture of the author SCPowell
        Hi Sid,

        Thank you for your advice! I hadn't thought to look at it this way!

        Much appreciated =)

        SCP
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