The useful life of trademarks
Trademarks are often deemed indefinite simply because they can be continually renewed. However, almost no asset is imperishable and the indefinite life assumption has serious consequences for the values ascribed to trademarks.
Expected remaining life is a major determinant of any asset’s value. The longer the asset generates profitable returns into the future, the higher its value. Most intellectual property has a finite life. With patents, remaining lifetime is determined by expiry of the patent itself; within a few years, the patented technology will become available to everybody. With copyrighted works such as music, films, text or pictures, their economic life is typically determined by how up to date they are; most copyrighted works depreciate fast and few are timeless. Similarly, software and databases need continuous updating to remain useful. Know-how and trade secrets cannot even be updated and are typically deemed to lose all of their value within a few years. Thus, intellectual property generally has a limited life in a world of continuous innovation. However, the situation is different for trademarks.
Want to read more?
Register to access two of our subscriber only articles per month
Subscribe for unlimited access to articles, in-depth analysis and research from the World Trademark Review experts
What our customers are saying
World Trademark Review is one of my favourite conference organisers. The topics and themes are always relevant, on point and designed to give me practical information about real-time industry issues. I look forward to all of the World Trademark Review events and highly recommend them to my industry colleagues.
Assistant general counsel
Subscribe to World Trademark Review to receive access to the full range of trademark intelligence, insight, and case law, as well as our guides, rankings and daily market insight delivered to your inbox.