Renewing Your Trademark Registration
Trademarks (Registered Trademarks) never expire so long as you continue to use that mark in commerce and as long as you continue to properly renew that registration. So, how do you renew that registration?
Well, the 5th year following registration, you have to submit a petition and an affidavit.
The petition is something called a “A Petition for Uncontestability.” This is just something that gets you rights in the event you end up in a legal proceeding and you got the rights because you’ve been using the market exclusively for 5 years to identify your stuff, might as well go ahead and make it more formal because it will strengthen your mark and increase the value of your brand.
The other thing you have to file is an affidavit of continued use, the affidavit you will submit with an updated sample of your mark being used in commerce.
So, as long as you do this every 10 years, your Trademark doesn’t expire. It only grows in value, and then you can use it to identify your goods and services.
And you’ll probably want to file additional registrations to go ahead and capture additional elements of your branding’s use. One example I use with this is the company LinkedIn. You heard the word LinkedIn, you’ve seen the little logo for LinkedIn, and you think well this is a pretty simple mark. So, it should be a pretty simple registration.
But if you go and take a look at the records in the Trademark Office, you will discover that LinkedIn has about 30 registrations for that name. I’m not suggesting that you need to go there right off, you know, out of the gate.
But, they’ve taken the term LinkedIn and grown it into an extremely powerful and effective brand, and so this goes to the branding strategy I talked about in another video, and you can do that with your brand as well. Don’t forget to monitor your mark because if other people, other businesses, start using marks similar to yours to sell similar goods and services and you don’t stop them, it will narrow the scope that your mark gets for its protection.
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