Requirements to Maintain US Federal Trademark Registration

us trademark registrationIf you are successfully able to register your United States federal trademark, you have navigated the trickiest part of the trademark process.  However, you are not completely out of the woods.  Simply because you register a trademark does not mean that it will remain valid and enforceable forever.  For your trademark registration to remain valid or active, you must show the United States Trademark office that you have continued to use the mark in commerce after registration.

To show this, the Trademark Office requires you to file a Section 8 Declaration of Continued Use.  This affidavit must be submitted between the 5th and 6th years after the registration date.  It is a sworn statement, filed by the trademark registration owner, indicating the mark is in use in commerce.  Requiring registered owners to file a Section 8 Declaration helps remove marks no longer in use from the register, essentially de-cluttering the trademark landscape.

There is one exception to the declaration requirement.  The exception applies if you qualify to claim excusable nonuse of the mark.  This requires the filing of a Section 8 Declaration of Excusable Nonuse.  In general, nonuse must be temporary, and the owner must clearly demonstrate how the circumstances prevent use of the mark in commerce and what efforts are being made to resume use. Nonuse due to decreased demand for a product does not by itself constitute “excusable nonuse.”

So to maintain your trademark registration active or “live