A Declaration of Continued Use (also called a "Section 8" filing) is required by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to demonstrate that you are currently using your trademark in commerce (or have a valid excuse for not using it). If 5 years have passed since you registered your trademark, you need to submit a Declaration of Continued Use, proving your ongoing use of your mark (or excusing non-use). After that, you need to submit the declaration between the 9- and 10-year anniversaries and then every 10 years.
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The Declaration of Use (also referred to as a "Section 8" filing) must be filed between the 5th and 6th year following your trademark's registration date, between the 9th and 10th year, and every 10-year anniversary after that.
If you've exceeded the sixth year by less than 6 months, you may pay an additional fee to file within the USPTO grace period. If you exceed the deadline by more than 6 months, your registration will be canceled. For more information, please contact us at (888) 791-0227 or email@example.com.
LegalZoom will need you to provide: (1) your USPTO trademark registration number, and (2) proof (called a "specimen") showing that you are using your trademark to sell the products ("goods") and/or services listed on your registration.
If your trademark is registered for products, examples of acceptable specimens include photos of product packaging, clothing tags, or product labels that prominently display your trademark.
If your trademark is registered for services, examples of acceptable specimens include brochures, advertisements, or websites that prominently display your trademark associated with the services you are selling.
The Declaration of Incontestability (also referred to as a "Section 15" filing) is an optional filing. This is a sworn statement claiming "incontestable" rights, allowing the mark owner to request the highest status of protection under federal law. Once a Declaration of Incontestability is approved by the USPTO, an owner is protected against many legal challenges that people or businesses might raise to contest the owner's rights in the mark.
If you have been continuously using your trademark to sell the products and/or services listed on your registration for five (5) years, you may file a Declaration of Incontestability with your Declaration of Use. You will have this option when you fill out the LegalZoom questionnaire.
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