Correction – Let’s Amend This Trademark: Part Five of Our Trademark Series

In our previous four articles (articles 1, 2, 3 and 4) in our trademark series, we discussed mandatory and optional filings for maintaining and protecting your marks, in order to avoid abandonment or cancellation.

The final segment of our trademark maintenance series provides guidance on corrections and amendments to trademark registrations.

Click here to read the entire article at http://www.spilmanlaw.com.


By William P. Smith

Smith_William_P_cropped

 

 

Advertisements

Your Trademark on Steroids – Making Your Trademark Registration Stronger

In our previous articles (part one, part two and part three), we discussed ways in which trademarks are maintained and protected through filings that are mandatory and which filings would result in abandonment or cancellation if not timely submitted.

There are also optional filings a trademark owner can take advantage of to optimize and secure its rights under a U.S. trademark registration. An Affidavit of Incontestability Under Section 15 is one such method. Once registered on the Principal Register, if a mark has been in continuous use for at least five consecutive years, the owner may submit a Declaration of Incontestability, also referred to as a Section 15 Declaration or Affidavit. Incontestability offers several advantages. Specifically, third parties can no longer challenge either registrant’s ownership of the trademark or the validity of the mark itself on the basis that it is merely descriptive of the goods or services or was improperly registered.

One may file a Section 15 Declaration any time after the five-year continuous use. While the Affidavit may be filed separately, it is commonly combined with the six-year Declaration of Continued Use under Section 8. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) does not acknowledge a Section 15 Affidavit unless a use affidavit is pending or has been accepted. The USPTO confirms that the Section 15 filing is facially sufficient and then updates the registration record to reflect receipt of the Section 15 Declaration. It does not review Section 15 filings for substantive issues. Therefore, whether the registration is actually incontestable is determined only if the mark is challenged in a court or administrative proceeding before the Trademark Trial and Appeals Board (“TTAB”).

The Section 15 Affidavit (or declaration) must be filed along with a filing fee (currently $200), and submitted by the owner of a trademark registration after the mark has been in continuous use in commerce for at least five consecutive years after the date of registration. It must specify the goods or services with which the registered mark has been in continuous use for at least five consecutive years after the date of registration. If some but not all of the associated goods qualify at the time of filing, the trademark owner can file more than one Section 15 Affidavit at different times to cover different goods or services, The declaration must state:

  1. The mark is still in use in connection with those goods or services,
  2. There has been no final decision adverse to the owner’s claim of ownership of the mark for the covered goods or services; and
  3. There is no proceeding involving these rights pending in the USPTO or in a court and not finally disposed of.

If you have any questions about trademark or patents, please feel free to contact us.


By William P. Smith

Smith_William_P_cropped

Protecting a Precious Asset- Your Trademarks (or Your Brands): Part Three in Our Trademark Series

In our last article, we explained trademark filings for showing continuous use of a mark.

This third article in our trademark series explains renewal applications and practical suggestions for the trademark owner to avoid losing trademark protection for its marks.

Click here to learn about when you must renew, how to renew and the evidence you must provide for renewals.


By William P. Smith

Smith_William_P_cropped

 

Maintaining Your Trademark Registrations-Part 2

Once you have obtained a U.S federal trademark registration, you must take certain steps to maintain the registration or else you risk losing your trademark protection. We now discuss a key step in maintaining your federal trademark registration—showing use of your trademark.

Our last article explained that certain post-registration documents and fees are required to maintain a U.S. trademark in force. In this article, we discuss the requirements for filing the Affidavit of Use under Section 8, and the specimens that go along with the Affidavit of Use.

Click here to read the second part of maintaining trademark registrations.


By William P. Smith

Smith_William_P_cropped

 

How to Maintain Your Trademark Registrations

This article explains filing deadlines and document requirements for maintaining federal trademark registrations with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”). The documentation for establishing proof of continued use of your mark, registration renewals and establishing the incontestability of your mark are all explained in this first article of the series. Special requirements for international registrations will also be discussed.

Click here to read the entire article.

By William P. Smith

Smith_William_P_cropped