Maintaining Trademarks

Trademarks are sturdy creatures. They can theoretically last “forever” if properly used and maintained.

The oldest US registered trademark still in use shows the Biblical figure of Samson wrestling a lion. It was first registered in 1884 and it’s use by Samson Rope Technologies, Inc.

Other venerable trademarks that have survived for more than 100 years include:

  • Nabisco’s Cream of Wheat logo
  • General Electric’s “GE medallion”
  • Pabst’s Blue Ribbon Beer logo

The Post-Registration Timeline

Between five and six years from the date of your original trademark registration, you need to file specific documents and pay required fees. Failing to follow this process will result in the cancellation or expiration of your trademark registration.

You also need to do paperwork and pay fees between the 9th and 10th years following registration and every 10 years thereafter.

If your mark on the Principal Register has been in continuous use in commerce for at least five years from the registration date, you can file a “Section 15” declaration of incontestability. This enhances the protection of your mark in case you’re later involved in trademark litigation.

More details are available here.

Having an Attorney Maintain Your Trademarks

As a trademark owner, you can file all the paperwork to maintain your trademarks yourself. However, given that the process is somewhat complicated and you risk losing your trademark rights if you miss a deadline, you may prefer to have an attorney handle this for you.

I’m admitted to practice before the US Patent and Trademark Office and I have many years of experience maintaining trademarks for my clients.