How Long Does A Trademark Last?

Our NYC and Miami Entertainment Law Firm advises and represents clients in all legal matters related to music, sports, television/film, visual and literary works, modeling, online matters, and intellectual property.

A trademark identifies and distinguishes your brand. It’s a vital method of protecting your name against those who might use the same or similar, either intentionally or unintentionally. Once a trademark is registered then legally it’s protected from being used by anyone else. 

What is a trademark?

It’s a mark—most commonly a symbol, name, and/or logo—that allows consumers to distinguish Trademarkyour brand or product from others. A trademark must be unique, and it also can’t resemble others already in use. For instance, you couldn’t register “meBay” as it’s far too similar to eBay.

When a trademark is registered in the USA it lasts forever, as long as certain requirements are met. These are:

  • The trademark must be renewed every 10 years: However, this can only be done if the registered mark is still in use between years 5-6
  • The relevant maintenance documents must be filed in a specified time frame
  • The owner of the trademark meets several legal requirements

 

The importance of good trademark maintenance

To keep a trademark it’s necessary to prove that it’s in use. This is done to prevent companies and/or individuals from building up a stash of unused trademarks. It’s a legal requirement that those not in use are abandoned so the United States Patent Trademark Office (USPTO) can remove them from their records.

Proof is provided by filing the following between year’s five and six of the original trademark registration:

  • A section 8 Affidavit: This confirms that you’re still using the trademark as described in the registration documents
  • A section 15 Declaration: Also referred to as the Declaration of Incontestability. While it’s not a legal requirement to return this form it’s highly advisable as it states that the trademark is free from challenge. It also provides a level of protection against possible future cases of infringement

Between years nine and ten it’s necessary to make the application for renewal—the Section 9 Affidavit. Once again, this confirms you’re using the trademark in the manner for which it was registered and effectively adds 10 more years to the trademark.

All the renewal documents are filed to the USPTO and can be done electronically via the Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS). 

Other important factors to take into consideration

  • No reminders are issued for any of the necessary maintenance steps
  • Late renewals are given a 6-month grace period but this incurs a fee. If you miss a filing deadline the USPTO will cancel the registration with immediate effect.
  • Trademark registration with the USPTO only protects within the USA. 
  • Trademarks only hold up if you enforce your rights, therefore it’s necessary to pay due diligence to ensure another party doesn’t infringe your trademark.

Such an infringement can be dealt with yourself, but many choose to use the expert services of a trademark attorney. Miami-based, Chase Lawyers have extensive experience in handling all aspects of trademarks and intellectual property matters, with a reach throughout the country and overseas. 

Although the process of registering and maintaining a trademark within the US is, in many cases, relatively straightforward, the implications of getting it wrong can be extensive. And for that reason using a service such as that provided by Chase Lawyers is highly recommended.

The entertainment industry can be a complicated field to navigate. As a trusted leader in Miami entertainment law, ChaseLawyers can help. With over 40 years of experience, Our Miami based lawyers have helped individuals in nearly every area of entertainment law in Miami, including sports, music, film, television, modeling, literature, and more. We understand the unique challenges you face as a creative, and we’re prepared to protect your interests.

As an artist in Miami, you must navigate the intricacies of copyright law, trademarks, contractual agreements, and much more. It is critical you choose a qualified Miami entertainment lawyer with expertise in the nuances of the entertainment world. ChaseLawyers has built a stellar reputation among our clientele for honest, professional representation that produces effective results. We have extensive experience in the unique legal elements you must navigate as an artist, and our attorneys can provide you with indispensable career advice and expertise over the course of your entertainment career.

When you work with ChaseLawyers, you are more than just a client. We care about your well-being and can provide essential advice on the issues you face in the Miami market, such as intellectual property issues, negotiating service agreements, publicity rights, and much more. We also have an extensive network of resources available for our clients to connect with, and those connections can enrich your career in countless ways. Our team understands the complex world of entertainment law and will take care of your legal needs so you can focus on doing what you do best—sharing your talent with the world!

When you’re ready to take the next step in your career, our Miami entertainment lawyers are ready to help you. We are passionate about helping creatives with all of their legal needs, and you won’t find a team more dedicated to your success in all of Miami. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation!