POST-REGISTRATION TRADEMARK MANAGEMENT
At AH, we know the job isn't done just because the trademark application has been approved. Our corporate clients continuously rely on us to oversee their ongoing trademark management strategies because successful management requires more than a one-time filing. While start-up tech companies may find they have only one or two trademarks in the beginning, these numbers are likely to grow as the business also experiences growth. Ultimately, losing track of your trademark may mean losing your trademark.
BECAUSE TRADEMARK RIGHTS IN THE US ARE BASED ON USE, YOU SHOULD USE YOUR TRADEMARK!
When it comes to protecting your ability to keep and maintain your trademark, the reality is that you have to either use it or lose it. Below are some important facts about trademark management:
- Registrations for trademarks are good for 10 years, but can be renewed indefinitely, as long as the mark is in use.
- A trademark may be canceled for non-use if it is not used for three years.
- Five years after registering your trademark, a Declaration of Use or Excusable Non-Use, also called a Section 8 Affidavit will need to be filed.
- If your mark has been continuously in use during that period and there are no proceedings against it, you can file a Declaration of Incontestability, also called a Section 15 Affidavit at the same time. Incontestability limits the claims third parties can make to challenge your trademark.
- After ten years, you will need to file a Section 8 Affidavit, along with an Application for Renewal (Section 9). Every decade after that, you will need to file a Section 8 Declaration plus a Section 9 renewal.
- Your trademark can be renewed indefinitely if you continue to use it.
A sophisticated trademark management strategy involves more than consistent use of your trademark, although that's certainly part of it. Some of the filings are time-sensitive, as are certain affidavits related to your specific business needs. The dedicated team of partner-level trademark attorneys at A.H. General Counsel Services can help you develop your trademark strategies in a way that comports with your short-term and long-term business goals.