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What is the Life of a Trademark?

Many people ask the question, “Do United States trademark registrations expire?”  Trademark rights in the United States vest based on use of the trademark in commerce.  Whether or not you register your trademark with a state trademark office or with the United States Patent & Trademark Office, as long as you are using your trademark in commerce, you have trademark rights that could potentially be protected or used to enforce against infringement.   Thus, trademark rights do not expire if you continue to use your mark in commerce.  However, it is important to note that Federal registration of a trademark requires periodic renewal.  The term of a federal trademark is 10 years, with 10-year renewal terms.  However, the USPTO requires that between the fifth and sixth year after the date of registration, the registrant must file an affidavit stating that the mark is still in use in commerce.  If no affidavit is filed, the registration is cancelled.  Prior to the tenth year from the registration date it is necessary to file an application for renewal and declaration of continued use of the mark in commerce.   If you are interested in seeking registration of a trademark, or if you would like a cost estimate for registration of a specific trademark, please give us a call at (503) 439-6500 or email us at tm@bltg-ip.com.  Ted D. Karr, Ted D. Karr, P.C., Partner, Berkeley Law & Technology Group, LLP. TM@bltg-ip.com

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