Once you’ve successfully registered your trademark, your responsibilities do not end there — you have a continued obligation to maintain and monitor your brand. Without renewing your mark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) at the necessary intervals, you stand a chance of losing your protection to a competitor who could reap the profits of your hard work.
The last thing on the minds of busy entrepreneurs is keeping up with the USPTO trademark renewal requirements. But it can be easy to forget when the deadline is approaching, especially if you have an extensive portfolio. The Trademark Lawyer Law Firm, PLLC offers reliable trademark renewal services so that you can concentrate on growing your business while having peace of mind that your company’s brand remains protected.
After it has been successfully registered with the USPTO, your slogan, design, logo, catchphrase, or symbol is safeguarded from potential infringers indefinitely — but only if you satisfy the USPTO trademark renewal requirements.
It is imperative to be aware of the renewal filing deadlines to avoid cancellation of your trademark registration. If your mark is cancelled, you will have to go through the entire trademark registration application process again, with a chance it will not be registered a second time. Additionally, your company’s branding will be left exposed to misuse, and another entity could benefit from using your mark.
Missing a renewal deadline can be detrimental to your business and the brand you put so much time into building. Our attorneys can take the burden of the trademark renewal process off your shoulders so you can keep your focus on your company and its growth.
One of the pitfalls that is sometimes associated with the trademark renewal process is failing to understand the timeline. Importantly, the first trademark renewal filing is due between the fifth and sixth year from the date of your initial registration. The USPTO requires that you provide a Declaration of Use or Excusable Nonuse under Section 8. This statement establishes that the registered trademark is being used in commerce or provides a valid reason as to why the mark is not in use.
If the trademark is in use, the declaration will list the goods and services in connection with the brand and provide a specimen demonstrating its use. If the mark is not being used, you will also state which goods and services are connected with the trademark but explain why it is not being used. You will need to list the date the mark was last used and indicate when you expect to resume using it again.
Each successive trademark renewal is due between the ninth and tenth year from the date of registration. You will again file a Section 8 declaration either stating that you are continuing to use the mark in commerce, or that there are special circumstances giving rise to nonuse of the mark. A Section 9 renewal application must also be filed at this interval to keep your registration active. Subsequent trademark renewal filings are due every ten years to secure your continued ownership.
While the USPTO provides a six-month grace period during which you could file your renewal application if you missed the deadline, it’s critical that you don’t delay. Not only can you incur additional fees by submitting your trademark renewal late — but if you fail to file before the grace period expires, your protective rights to your brand may be lost. Committed to streamlining USPTO trademark renewal filings for business owners, our attorneys will help ensure you meet the ongoing requirements to maintain and protect your brand.
In addition to strengthening your brand with continuous use of your trademark, you can also reinforce your ownership rights by filing a Section 15 Declaration of Incontestability with your first renewal filing. Although filing a Section 15 Declaration is not required by the USPTO, once a mark has incontestable status, its validity becomes much more difficult for competitors to challenge.
For your trademark to be classified as “incontestable,” you must establish the following:
Incontestability status does not completely eliminate the potential that your mark may be challenged or infringed upon by a competitor. Nevertheless, it is a powerful tool that can increase its protection and provide conclusive evidence of ownership. We advise entrepreneurs in all industries concerning incontestability status and can assist you with implementing effective strategies to secure your brand.
As your business grows and your brand expands, it is essential to make sure every safeguard is in place to shield it from wrongdoers. With more than 5,500 successful trademark registrations to our name, the Trademark Lawyer Law Firm, PLLC provides comprehensive guidance at every stage of the trademark process, including your USPTO trademark renewal filings. Based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, we are dedicated to helping entrepreneurs nationwide meet their business goals, taking a tailored approach to ensure the best possible results for each client. Contact us today to schedule a free 15-minute consultation with an experienced trademark attorney.