Insights & Tips


Because trademark rights are based on use, when a trademark owner discontinues its use of a mark, this can result in abandonment. However, the fact that use of the mark has stopped does not, by itself, mean that it has been abandoned. In order for a ma …

Category: Intellectual Property Law

Unlike copyrights or patents which have a limited life, trademarks, at least theoretically, can exist indefinitely. However, under certain circumstances, trademarks can be “lost.” A trademark is “lost” when it ceases to identify the origin or quality o …

Category: Intellectual Property Law

The T and SM symbols are symbols that a trademark owner may use to indicate that a term is considered a trademark (T) or service mark (SM) when the term has not been registered. Use of these symbols puts third parties on notice that trademark rights ar …

Category: Intellectual Property Law

The ® symbol may only be used in connection with marks that are registered with the PTO and only when used in connection with the goods or services covered by the registration. The symbol should be displayed next to the word, logo, or drawing which is …

Category: Intellectual Property Law

A federal trademark registration can become incontestable if the mark has been used continuously for any consecutive five-year period after registration upon the filing of a Declaration of Incontestability. Accordingly, either simultaneously with the f …

Category: Intellectual Property Law

Yes. Pursuant to Section 8 of the Lanham Act, the owner of a trademark registration is required to periodically submit a declaration attesting to and demonstrating that the mark is still in use in commerce. The Declaration of Use must initially be subm …

Category: Intellectual Property Law

Yes. Trademark registrations that issued or were renewed on or after November 16, 1989, must be renewed every ten years. The renewal application is due on the tenth anniversary of registration. The initial renewal period for registrations that issued b …

Category: Intellectual Property Law

Section 2 of the Lanham Act prohibits registration of a mark that: Consists of or comprises immoral, deceptive or scandalous matter (Example: Dick Heads and design of male genitalia for restaurant services). Consists of matter which may disparage or fa …

Category: Intellectual Property Law

The Supplemental Register is reserved for designations which are deemed to be capable of serving a trademark function, but which do not yet do so, such as descriptive marks and marks which are primarily merely surnames.

Category: Intellectual Property Law

The Principal Register is the primary register in the United States. Only marks that are distinctive, or have acquired distinctiveness may be registered on the Principal Register.

Category: Intellectual Property Law

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (“PTO”) issues federal trademark registrations after a detailed application process. Specific information on the trademark application process, including downloadable and electronic application forms, can b …

Category: Intellectual Property Law

A simple or initial search may include a basic search of trademark directories, or the use of online trademark search systems that contain federal and state trademark registration information. This type of search may reveal quickly and inexpensively wh …

Category: Intellectual Property Law

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