USPTO Trademark Renewal Filings
Once you’ve taken the important step of seeking and obtaining federal trademark registration for your brand name, logo or slogan, it’s equally important that you continue to maintain active registration status with timely trademark renewal filings at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
A federal trademark registration is valid for ten (10) years following the date of registration. Your registered trademark may be renewed indefinitely – allowing long term protection and ownership rights in the name that strengthen even more over time – but there are various trademark renewal filings required to ensure the continued validity of your registration.
Your first trademark renewal is due between the 5th and 6th year following your trademark registration date. This filing is a Section 8 Affidavit of Use. Essentially, the USPTO would like to know that you are still using the trademark name and would like to maintain your active registration status. If the Affidavit of Use is accepted, your registration will continue in force for the remainder of the ten-year term. If you fail to file a timely Affidavit of Use within the specified time period, the USPTO will cancel your trademark registration.
Section 15 is optional. It is not mandatory to maintain your registration. An incontestable mark is immune from challenge except if it has become generic, abandoned for nonuse, or if the registration was acquired under fraudulent conditions. Since these conditions exist, the mark will not be 100% incontestable, but it does make the mark more difficult to challenge.
During your initial ten-year registration period, another renewal filing is required between the 9th and 10th year following your registration date. You must file a Section 8 Declaration of Use, and a Section 9 Application for Renewal. Failure to file the Declaration and Application for Trademark Renewal will result in the USPTO canceling your registration.
All trademark renewal filings include a 6-month grace period, subject to extra filing fees, during which you may file the required documents to maintain active registration status.
Complying With Trademark Renewal Requirements
If you comply with the above trademark renewal requirements, your registration will be valid for another ten-year period, with renewal filings due only between the 9th and 10th year for all successive ten-year periods.
Please note the USPTO will not inform you of your trademark renewal deadlines! You should mark your calendar to ensure your renewals are filed at the appropriate time. Failure to file timely renewals will result in cancellation of your trademark registration. It is your responsibility to submit timely trademark renewal documents to ensure continued registration of your mark.
If your mark is coming up for renewal, or if you’re uncertain about the renewal status of your mark, please contact us for a complimentary consultation, (800) 769-7790 or via email.