After your official approval of a US trademark it has to be maintained to prevent the mark from being cancelled. This has to be done twice a year. Firstly, between the 5th and 6th year of registration. The second time is 10 years from the date of registration.

5th/6th year

If you are filing for your trademark maintenance between the 5th and 6th year this is called a Section 8 Declaration of Use and/or Excusable Nonuse. The USPTO will send you a notice via email reminding you that it has been almost 6 years since you had your trademark and a section 8 has to be filed. You will have 6 months from the date of the issue letter from the United States Patent Trademark Office to file the application.

Be reminded that the form will ask you to submit specimens for your trademark which shows that you are using your mark currently in business as it was applied for. It will require a fee of $100 per classification for goods and services. This is also an opportunity to update owner and attorney information (for non-US applicants only). Information recorded by the USPTO must be accurate.

10 years

If your trademark is reaching 10 years since it was registered the appropriate application to file is called Section 8 and 9  Combined Declaration of Use and/or Excusable Non use. Again, the USPTO will send you a reminder that your trademark has been alive for 10 years and is required to be renewed within 6 months of issuing their reminder letter. The contents of the application will be almost the same as the section 8 renewal above. Owner information and correct attorney information (for non-US applicants only) and providing specimens which show that the mark is still being used in commerce as it was applied for in the beginning. The fee for renewal of a 10 year trademark application is $425 per classification of goods and services.

It is important to have these documents filed on time because failure to do so will cancel your applied for trademark in either of the above time periods. This will mean that your trademark is no longer effective and another business owner has a chance to apply and register the same mark as yours. In addition, once cancelled, the trademark cannot be revived.

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