Trademark Renewal

File for Your 5th-6th or 9th-10th Trademark Anniversary

Trademark Renewal under Section 8

If you would like to renew your trademark, the deadlines are key. For new trademarks, the renewal date is between the 5th and 6th anniversary of your registration date. Take an example. Let’s say your trademark was registered on June 15, 2021; your renewal date would fall between June 15, 2026 and June 15, 2027. You can find that date by searching for your wordmark or logo HERE (just type in the name of your brand). To renew, you must file with the USPTO a document known as a “Declaration of Use or Excusable Nonuse” (often called a “DOU”) under Section 8 of The Lanham Act. 

Trademark renewal requires the owner to: 

  1. Declare that they’re currently using their registered trademark to sell goods or services “in commerce”
  2. Provide proof of that use in commerce by attaching appropriate specimens of use; and,
  3. Pay a filing fee of $225 per International Class.
Finally, you have a very limited grace period of six months after the sixth anniversary. As a result, if you fail to renew your trademark by not timely filing a Section 8 renewal, your trademark registration will be cancelled.

Renewals At a Glance

Unlike LLCs and domain names, trademarks must be continually used “in commerce.” For that reason, trademark renewal is required as proof of use.

Incontestability under Section 15

When you renew your trademark, you also have the coveted option of filing for something known as “Incontestability.” Incontestability is lawyer-speak for presumptive evidence that you own the trademark exclusively and validly. Additionally, incontestability is used to either stop a trademark infringement suit or to gain the upper hand against infringers in court. Often, clients elect to renew their trademark along with a Section 8 Declaration of Use or Excusable Nonuse. It does not make your trademark invincible, but this is as close as it can get to that status. In order to obtain Incontestable status, you must do the the following:

  1. State that you have been using the mark continuously in commerce for the past five years;
  2. Declare that there is no adverse legal decision on the merits with respect to your ability to use the mark; and
  3. Under penalty of perjury, declare that there is no ongoing court proceeding with respect to your registration.
  4. Pay a filing fee of $200 per International Class.
Have questions? Get in touch by clicking the link HERE.

Failure to Renew Your Mark May Lead to Penalties or Cancellation

Trademark Quiz

How Well Do You Know Your Trademarks?

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