How to Qualify for Infinite Protections
The primary requirement is that the trademark must be used. You must not only use the trademark, but also provide the USPTO with a Section 8 Declaration of Use within five years of the date when the trademark was originally registered. This will extend your trademark protection for another five years. Then, in the ninth or tenth year after the registration, the USPTO will require you to submit a combined Declaration of Use and Application for Renewal under Sections 8 and 9. This procedure must be repeated every ten years after that, but will provide you with practically indefinite protection for your trademark as long as you submit the necessary documents in a timely fashion and pay the fees.
The Importance of Filing Trademark Paperwork on Time
How long does a trademark last if you forget to file your documents on time or if the check you wrote to pay the fees bounces? It doesn't. If you fail to submit the necessary documents and fees, the registration will be permanently cancelled. You will not be able to revive or reinstate your trademark. It is very important, therefore, to file all your documents on time. Of course, you should also ensure that the trademark is actually being used before the five year mark, because if it isn't, the registration will be cancelled as well.
Exceptions to the "Use" Requirement
In special cases, the USPTO can accept a claim of nonuse, if the claim fits the criteria outlined in the Trademark Manual of Examining Procedure. Note, however, that the USPTO only grants claims of nonuse in exceptional circumstances.
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This article contains general legal information and does not contain legal advice. Rocket Lawyer is not a law firm or a substitute for an attorney or law firm. The law is complex and changes often. For legal advice, please ask a lawyer.