Originally posted 2014-12-01 11:00:20.

By Erin Holbrook | amdlawgroup.com

tmA while back I got my business together and I was told I should get a trademark for my company name. To be sure that other companies and individuals are not able to use the same name, and to ensure there is no confusing my products with other companies of the same type. I was able to register my trademark with the United States Trademark and Patent Office (USPTO) and then I checked that box off my list.

I was looking up my trademark, 7 years later after filing and securing the trademark I found that my trademark was cancelled! I was shocked and was not sure why or how this could happen. After further research on the USPTO website I realized that I missed my maintenance deadline for the 5-6 year mark. Between these two years there needs to be a Section 8 declaration completed and submitted to the office. The declaration must be submitted along with a fee to ensure the trademark is not cancelled or expired.

There is another maintenance timeframe comes up at the 9-10 year mark that requires another filing under a combined section 8 declaration and section 9 renewal. This filing also requires that a fee be paid to keep the trademark “active.” The other clause is that the USPTO will not send you any reminder that these documents need to be filed and fees paid. It is up to you to be an informed business owner and trademark holder.

This scenario is an common mistake trademark holders experience. Make sure you are informed about all of the maintenance steps to keep your trademark active and alive in the USPTO database. You will not receive a call, email or any notice if your trademark is out of maintenance. Ensure that you make the proper filings and pay the proper fees and keep your hard earned registered trademark active.

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Resource: http://www.uspto.gov/trademarks/process/maintain/prfaq.jsp

Image Credits: http://www.sunbeltlegaladvisors.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/trademark-registration.jpg

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