Trademarks are a form of intellectual property rights that protect the elements that identify the origin of a product or service. Unlike other forms of intellectual property, trademarks do not have an expiration date and can last indefinitely with proper renewal and use. A federal trademark lasts 10 years from the date of registration, with a potentially unlimited number of 10-year renewal terms. It is the responsibility of the owner to make sure that their trademark does not expire.
To ensure your trademark remains valid, you must submit proof of use and a declaration every 10 years. The USPTO requires applicants to use their trademarks instead of simply obtaining them and letting them sit idle. Knowing what protects your trademark and how to use it is the key to maintaining it. If you have any questions about the actual or intended use of your trademarks, it is best to consult a trademark attorney. In addition to the declaration, you must provide photographic evidence of a product using the trademark that is available for sale.
Brand searches are also important to determine if another company or person is using the brand in an identical or similar way. It is also essential to disclose the nationality or location of the headquarters of the brand owner when applying for a trademark. There are several legal options available to help you strengthen the intellectual property protections surrounding your trademarks. If you want your brand to last indefinitely, you should keep an eye out for renewals and take advantage of all available options.