What is a Trademark Expungement Proceeding?

trademark expungement

A trademark expungement proceeding is essentially a way to inform the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) that a certain trademark registration should be canceled (either in whole or in part) because the trademark has never been used in commerce.  An individual or entity (referred to as the “petitioner”) commences a trademark expungement by filing a Petition for Expungement through the Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS) and paying the appropriate filing fee.  A Petition for Expungement can be filed against any trademark registration (including registered extensions of protection under the Madrid Protocol) so long as the following two conditions are met:

  • The trademark has never been used in commerce in connection with some or all of the products/services recited in the registration
  • The trademark registration is between three and ten years old (measured from the registration date of the trademark)

If these two conditions aren’t met, then you may have the option of filing a trademark reexamination proceeding or a trademark cancellation against the registration instead.

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