Trademark Blog

What is a Canceled Trademark Registration in the USPTO?

canceled trademark

A canceled trademark registration in the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is a trademark registration that’s no longer valid.  Once a registration is canceled, it’s considered dead and cannot be used by the USPTO to refuse registration of a trademark filed by someone else.  The owner of a canceled trademark registration loses all of the benefits of trademark registration, and it potentially creates a situation where someone else could register a confusingly similar trademark for identical or related products/services.

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What is an Express Abandonment of a Trademark Application?

express abandonment of trademark

An express abandonment of a trademark application is essentially a voluntary request that the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) terminate the registration process.  There are many reasons why you might choose to expressly abandon your trademark application.  For example:

  • You’re no longer using your trademark in commerce
  • You no longer have an intention to use your trademark in commerce
  • A trademark opposition or concurrent use proceeding was filed against your application
  • You entered into a settlement agreement with a third-party that requires express abandonment of your application
  • You’ve filed a trademark appeal but decide you don’t want to risk an adverse ruling

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What is the Difference Between an Abandoned Trademark and an Abandoned Trademark Application?

abandoned trademark

An abandoned trademark is not same as an abandoned trademark application you may come across when performing a trademark check using the USPTO’s Trademark Search System.  The difference between the two is extremely important in determining whether your use of a particular mark is in violation of someone else’s trademark rights.  Although people (including attorneys) frequently use the phrase “abandoned trademark” to refer to an abandoned trademark application, such use is improper, imprecise, and can mislead others into believing that a trademark is available for use and registration when it is not.

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What is a Dead Trademark in the USPTO?

dead trademark

A dead trademark in the USPTO means that the trademark application or registration is no longer active.  A trademark check using the USPTO’s Trademark Search System can easily reveal hundreds (if not thousands) of dead trademarks, many of which might have been dead for years or even decades.  But why would a trademark be dead?  In other words, what leads to a trademark application or registration becoming inactive?

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What is a False Suggestion of a Connection Trademark Refusal?

false suggestion of a connection

A trademark that falsely suggests a connection with individuals (living or dead), institutions, beliefs, or national symbols is ineligible for registration with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).  The Lanham Act (which is the federal law that governs trademark registration in the U.S.) requires the USPTO to refuse registration of a trademark if it concludes that a false suggestion of a connection exists.  Unlike other types of rejections (such as merely descriptive and surname refusals), a showing of acquired distinctiveness cannot overcome a false suggestion of a connection refusal under any circumstances.

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