Trademark Protection


To maintain your trademark registration, you must file your first maintenance document between the 5th and 6th year after the registration date and other maintenance documents thereafter. Your registration certificate contains important information on maintaining your federal registration. If the documents are not timely filed, your registration will be cancelled and cannot be revived or reinstated, making the filing of a brand new application to begin the overall process again necessary. Forms for filing the maintenance documents are at the TEAS forms page.

Throughout the life of the registration, you must police and enforce your rights. While the USPTO will prevent another pending application for a similar mark used on related goods or in connection with related services from proceeding to registration based on a finding of likelihood of confusion, the USPTO will not engage in any separate policing or enforcement activities.

Rights in a federally registered trademark can last indefinitely if you continue to use the mark and file all necessary maintenance documents with the required fee(s) at the appropriate times, as identified below. The necessary documents for maintaining a trademark registration are

  • Declaration of Continued Use or Excusable Nonuse under Section 8 (§8 declaration); and
  • Combined Declaration of Continued Use and Application for Renewal under Sections 8 and 9 (combined §§8 and 9).

A §8 declaration is due before the end of the 6-year period after the registration date or within the 6-month grace period thereafter. Failure to file this declaration will result in the cancellation of the registration.

A combined §§8 and 9 must be filed before the end of every 10-year period after the registration date or within the 6-month grace period thereafter. Failure to make these required filings will result in cancellation and/or expiration of the registration.

For further information, including information regarding the special requirements that apply to Madrid Protocol registrations, use the Popular Link “Maintain or Renew Registrations” on the left side of the Trademarks Home page or contact the Trademark Assistance Center (TAC) ( or 1-800-786-9199).

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