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When Do Trademarks Expire

When Do Trademarks Expire? | Exploring Trademark Renewal

Joshua Julien Brouard

Joshua Julien Brouard

27 June 20243 min read

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When Do Trademarks Expire? | Exploring Trademark Renewal

Theoretically, a trademark could last indefinitely — but how? When do trademarks expire?

I'll explore this question in this article and help you better understand how trademark renewals work.

How long does a trademark last after registration?

After protecting your trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), your trademark is valid for ten years before it needs to be renewed.

In addition, between the 5th and 6th year of use, you'll have to file a Statement of Continued Use, indicating that you're still using the trademark.

Unlike patent and copyright protection, which will inevitably expire, trademark protection can persist, provided the trademark is continually used in commerce.

But that begs the question — how do you renew a trademark? Let's explore this next:

How trademark renewal works

Interested in learning more? Read our full article “How to Renew a Trademark: A Guide That Makes It Easy!

To understand the question "When do trademarks expire?" it's essential to explore trademark renewal.

Like filing a trademark with the USPTO, trademark renewal requires filing an application nearly ten years after the registration date.

The trademark renewal application window usually opens six months before your trademark registration expires.

There is also a grace period after the expiration date. However, renewals done during this period will incur additional fees.

Want to learn more about trademark maintenance? Watch this short video where trademark attorney Derrick Davis explains it: 

But perhaps you've not even registered your trademark yet.

So:

Taking a step back — this is how federal trademark registration works.

Understanding federal trademark registration

Not everyone who has a trademark has their trademark registered with their trademark office.

This is because of something known as common law rights.

Common law rights, when it comes to trademarks, provide trademark owners with rights within their state.

However:

These rights are limited to the state in which the trademark is used, and the scope of trademark protection is not as comprehensive.

On the other hand, registered trademarks provide nationwide or even international trademark protection.

This ensures that nobody can lean on your good name and brand trust.

It also prevents competitors from damaging customers' faith in your brand and goods or services.

US trademark registration is conducted through the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

The trademark registration process

Unfortunately, trademark registration takes a long time. It can often take up to a year, if not longer.

This is because trademark examiners will review your trademark application to ensure it doesn't infringe on any existing trademarks.

Your trademark will also be put up for opposition. This step allows third parties to challenge the registration of the trademark.

Because trademark filings are complex and the cost of a failed trademark application is high, it's always a good idea to employ the skills of a qualified trademark attorney.

Complete your trademark registration online today with Trademarkia.

International trademark registration and renewal

With all this in mind, how do you register and, later down the line, renew trademarks that are international?

You can acquire federally registered trademarks in different countries through the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO).

International federal registration lasts for ten years and requires maintenance documents, just like trademark registration in the US.

However:

Because of the increased complexity of international trademark filings, hiring a trademark attorney who can help you file your trademark correctly is critical.

How a trademark search can help you check when trademarks expire

Interested in a trademark but not sure if it’s still registered.

There’s a simple solution.

Using our free trademark search engine, you can easily check to see if a trademark is still federally registered.

Our database includes national and international data, ensuring that you can conduct a detailed search in just a simple click. 

Get your trademark renewed the easy way with Trademarkia

At Trademarkia, we've streamlined the trademark renewal process, so you won't have to worry about it again!

Our expert trademark attorneys ensure that your trademark remains yours — with timely and correctly written renewal applications.

Get in touch with a trademark attorney today and renew your trademark easily with Trademarkia.


FAQs

What is the strongest type of trademark?

The strongest type of trademark is known as a fanciful trademark. These trademarks are considered the most distinctive because they're invented words without meaning outside their use — for example, Kodak for photographic products.

Should I use R or TM for trademarks?

Whether you should use ® (Registered Trademark) or ™ (Trademark) depends on the status of your trademark registration. You can only use the circle R when your trademark is officially registered. On the other hand, you can use TM whether your trademark is registered or not.

What is the weakest trademark?

The weakest trademark (usually not registrable) is known as a generic trademark. These are words that directly explain the product or service. For example, you'd never be able to trademark the word ice cream for an ice cream truck business. 

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Joshua J. Brouard has a diverse background. He has studied bachelor of commerce with a major in law, completed SEO and digital marketing certifications, and has years of experience in content marketing. Skilled in a wide range of topics, he's a versatile and knowledgeable writer.