There would be little point in registering a trademark only to have it expire while you are still in business. Fortunately, once you register your trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, it can be protected by the law for a indefinite period of time. However, in order to maintain your trademark protection indefinitely you will have to meet certain conditions set by USPTO.
How to qualify for Infinite Protection
The primary requirement is that the trademark must be read. You must not only use the trademark, but also provide the USPTO with a Section 8 Declaration of use within five years of date when the trademark was originally registered. This will extend your trademark protection for another five years. Then in the ninth and tenth year after the registration the USPTO will require you to submit a combined Declaration of Use and Application for Renewal under section 8 and 9. This procedure 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 document in a timely fashion and pay the fees.
The Importance of filing Trademark Paperwork on Time
How long does trademark last if you forget to file your documents on time or if the check you wrote to pay 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 years mark, because if it isn’t the registration will be cancelled as well.
Exception to the “Use” Requirement
In special cases, the USPTO can accept a claim of non-use, if the claim fits the criteria outlined in the Trademark Manual of examining procedure. Note however, that the USPTO only grants claims of non-use exceptional circumstances.