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Trademarks

7. Enforcing a Trademark

Once you register your trademark, you will have legal ownership of the trademark. Additionally, you can have the U.S. Customs Service prevent the importation of goods that infringe on your trademark rights. However, if a domestic company infringes on your trademark, it is probably best to consult an attorney specializing in trademark law. The factual situation of your particular case will determine the best way to resolve the dispute. This is a decision an attorney can help you make.

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Renewing a Trademark

For a trademark registration to remain valid, a Declaration of Use must be filed:
  1. between the fifth and sixth year following registration, and
  2. within the year before the end of every 10-year period after the date of registration. (The registrant may file a Declaration within a six-month grace period after the end of the sixth or every tenth year by paying an additional fee)
Assuming that a Declaration of Use is timely filed, registrations granted PRIOR to November 16, 1989 have a 20-year term, and registrations granted on or after November 16, 1989 have a 10-year term. This is also true for the renewal periods; renewals granted PRIOR to November 16, 1989 have a 20-year term, and renewals granted on or after November 16, 1989 have a 10-year term.

Registrants must renew their trademarks within the year before the expiration date of a registration (or within a six-month grace period after the expiration date by paying an additional fee). There is no limit to the number of times a trademark can be renewed, as long as use of the trademark continues by its owner.


 
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