“Years ago, my father, owner of the firm “X”, registered a trademark. In 1993 the business closed down, even if lawfully it still exists. I would like to know if the trademark is still valid and what must I do to preserve the validity of it”.

To evaluate the trademark status, it is first of all essential to know the deposit date from which all rights in favour of the owner will be starting, and also the terms for the subsequent renewals. The maximum duration of a mark is 10 years, after which it can be renewed for a further period of ten years. This is true starting from 1992, whilst before it used to last twenty years, even if there was the possibility of paying the fee in two instalments of ten years each. Furthermore we need to check what kind of mark has been registered, if it is Italian or international, as even in this case there might be differences in calculating the terms. The practical advice is, firstly, to consult the Chamber of Commerce where there is an office for patents and trademarks, which can search all these details, including the fee payment. If the mark has been deposited or renewed within ten years, this could still be valid and it would be possible later on to renew it upon expiry of ten years. The fact that the company closed down in 1993 could have caused problems to the validation, or rather it could have happened that someone else might have registered a mark identical to his and nobody opposed it, therefore he could continue using it even though the mark he is using was already registered before.