Your Trademark is Approved! Now What?
Congrats! You're the proud owner of a trademark!
Here's what you need to know about protecting and renewing your mark.
1. Use it continuously + consistently
You'll need to continue using the mark in the same way and on the same products. Any alteration in the way you're using the name or on which products could leave your trademark open to disputes in the future.
Your mark needs to be used with the same capitalization, punctuation, and spacing as when you registered it.
You also need to add that little R symbol to the upper right corner of your mark. That lets the world know that your trademark is registered.
2. Run Copycat Checks
You'll need to conduct periodic searches to find trademark copycats who are using similar names on similar products. This can include trademark searches, business filings, advertising keywords, and customs registration to prevent imported goods.
If you find a copycat, you may want to send a Cease + Desist Letter. This orders them to stop using your trademark for commercial gain asap or theyʼll face legal action. Always review this letter with an attorney before sending, as you could face legal action for incorrect letters.
3. Renew on time
@ 5 years
You may want to file a Declaration of Incontestability. It asserts that your trademark rights are still strong and makes it harder for copycats to challenge your rights later.
@ 6 years
You'll need to file a Declaration of Use or Declaration of Excusable Nonuse that asserts you're using the mark continuously or you have an approved reason for not using the mark continuously.
@ 10 years
you'll need to file a Declaration of Use or Declaration of Excusable Nonuse again. You'll also need to file a Renewal.
Every ten years after that
You'll need to file a Declaration of Use or Declaration of Excusable Nonuse and a Renewal.