Applications can be made either for trademarks that are already in use or for trademarks that are not yet in use. There is no need to submit any proof of use/intent of use of a trademark even upon renewal.
There is an exception, however, where proof needs to be submitted to overcome absolute grounds for refusal, i.e. non-distinctiveness. Such proof needs to show that the sign has acquired distinctiveness as a result of the use made of it prior to the date of application.
It is possible to “claim priority” when filing a trademark application. This means that if an applicant files a trademark application in a country outside Armenia that is party to the Paris Convention or the World Trade Organization, priority can be claimed in a corresponding Armenian application, provided the Armenian application is filed within six months of the foreign application. This means that the Armenian application will be considered to have been filed on the same date as the foreign application cited. Claiming priority can help increase the possibility of an application achieving registration despite another similar application because the priority will afford the applicant earlier rights. Mere use in a foreign country does not give rise to priority. In addition, an applicant may claim priority if services or goods bearing the trademark have been displayed at an internationally recognized trade show or trade fair within the last six months.
Starting from registration the trademark owner has a five-year grace period within which the trademark cannot be contested on the grounds of non-use. After that period anyone may file a cancellation action based on non-use. In such a case, maintenance of the trademark will depend on proof of use or justification of non-use. Furthermore, the owner of such registered trademark cannot assert any claims against third parties, if, within a period of five years preceding the assertion of the claims, the trademark has not been put to effective use.
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