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Use it or lose it

US Trademark Office expands initiative to remove “dead” trademarks and improve trademark register

In order to obtain a trademark or service mark in the US, the mark must be “in use” in commerce. Marks that were registered at one time but are not in use (for example, when a business stops making a product or closes its doors) can be freed up for other people to use. 

Recently, the USPTO conducted an audit of maintenance filings for five hundred marks, requiring additional evidence of use for each class in the registration. In over half of the registrations, the owner was unable to verify actual use.

As a result, the USPTO is launching a new initiative to make sure that registered trademarks are, in fact, in use. First, the USPTO is making the declaration that a mark is in use (required for every trademark registration) more readable. Second, the USPTO is planning to make random audits of existing trademark registrations permanent. Third, the USPTO is “considering proposing one or more new or revised procedures to cancel registrations for marks either no longer in use or never in use.” You can read more about these initiatives from the Commissioner for Trademarks Mary Boney Denison at her blog post below:

https://www.uspto.gov/blog/director/entry/improving_the_trademark_register

DISCLAIMERThe information provided is for general informational purposes only. This post is not updated to account for changes in the law and should not be considered tax or legal advice. This article is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. You should consult with legal and/or financial advisors for legal and tax advice tailored to your specific circumstances.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided is for general informational purposes only. This post is not updated to account for changes in the law and should not be considered tax or legal advice. This article is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. You should consult with legal and/or financial advisors for legal and tax advice tailored to your specific circumstances.

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