Maintaining A Federal Trademark Registration

December 24, 2010   Steve Davis   Trademarks   No Comments

In previous blog entries we’ve written about the importance of choosing and registering a trademark wisely. Equally important – but often neglected – is maintaining a trademark registration once it has been obtained.

A federal trademark registration is a valuable asset, but it may be inadvertently lost when it is time to renew the registration. A registration must be renewed between the 5th and 6th year after registration. For example, a registration that issued on December 1, 2005 may first be renewed on December 1, 2010, and it must be renewed by December 1, 2011.

A second renewal is due between the 9th and 10th year after registration and every 10 years thereafter. Some registration owners mistakenly believe that the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) will send a notice when it is time to renew a registration. In fact, the USPTO does not send such notices, nor does it inform the owner when a registration has been cancelled for failure to renew.

To help prevent an inadvertent cancellation, registration owners should ensure that they calendar each renewal date. One advantage of using an experienced trademark attorney to obtain a registration is that such attorneys maintain dedicated trademark calendaring systems and will remind registration owners about their renewals well in advance of the renewal deadlines. For registration owners who have obtained their own registrations it is also a good practice to retain a trademark attorney to track renewal deadlines.

By heeding the proper deadlines and taking care of the registration renewal requirements in a timely manner, trademark owners can preserve the valuable assets they have in their federal trademark registrations.

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