Trademark Blog

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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What is a Request for an Extension of Time to File a Response to an Office Action?

Request for an Extension of Time to File a Response

It’s extremely common to receive a trademark office action from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) after filing a trademark application.  You may also receive an office action after filing the Statement of Use or an Amendment to Allege Use.  If you don’t file a response that addresses the issues raised in the office action within three months of the office action being issued, then your trademark application will go abandoned.

But what if you can’t file a response by the three-month deadline?  What if you need more time to conduct research and to draft an argument to attempt to overcome a major rejection (such as a likelihood of confusion refusal)?  Maybe you require some additional time to discuss the office action with the examining attorney in charge of your application?  Perhaps you need time to seek the assistance of a skilled and knowledgeable trademark attorney?  Whatever the reason, you can file a Request for an Extension of Time to File a Response to the office action.

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How Does the US Trademark Application Process Work?

US trademark application

It’s pretty common for clients to ask me about the US trademark application process and what they should expect once their application is filed.  Needless to say, the road to registration can be very bumpy at times, more so for applicants who didn’t perform a trademark search or failed to seek an opinion from an experienced trademark attorney regarding the eligibility of their trademark for registration.  If you’re thinking about navigating the trademark application process yourself, it’s even more important that you fully understand the entire process to maximize your chances of successful registration with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

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What are the Benefits of Getting a Trademark Registration?

trademark registration

There are many benefits associated with getting a trademark registration for the names, logos, and taglines you use (or intend to use) in connection with the advertising and sale of your products or services.  Personally, I like to think of a US trademark registration as an insurance policy.  You purchase automobile insurance in case you’re involved in a car accident.  You buy homeowners insurance in case your house goes up in flames.  And you purchase health insurance in case you become seriously ill.  Of course, you hope you never have to use your insurance policies, but you’re extremely glad you bought them if a tragedy or disaster does occur.  Similarly, a trademark registration is like insurance on your trademark.  It protects one of your most valuable business assets and assists you in recovering the monetary damages you’ll likely suffer as a result of an unexpected infringement or misappropriation by someone else.

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What is a Surrender of a Trademark Registration?

surrender of trademark

A surrender of a trademark registration is a voluntary request that the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) cancel the registration.  There are a handful of reasons why you might choose to voluntarily surrender your trademark registration.  For example:

  • You’re no longer using your trademark in commerce and have no plans to resume use
  • A trademark cancellation or concurrent use proceeding was filed against your registration
  • You entered into a settlement agreement with a third-party that requires surrender of your trademark registration

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