How long does a trademark registration last? Is it the same for the rest of the world? Are there annual maintenance fees?
Check out the answers to all these questions in the short video below:
Trademarks are the only type of intellectual property that can, in theory, last forever. As long as you keep using your trademark in commerce. As long as you take care of the necessary formalities, you can keep renewing and renewing and renewing your trademark just like Coca-Cola has been doing. They got their first trademark in 1892 and have been renewing it ever since.
So let's go back to how long trademark registrations last. Now let's say, you've gone through the process, you've filed your trademark application, got approved, allowed, and finally registered. In most countries, the first registration term is 10 years from the registration date.
There are several jurisdictions, for example, the European Union and Australia that count the 10 years from the filing date. Then you can renew your trademark application an unlimited number of times. Each time for another 10 years, and another 10 years, and another 10 years, and so on. For as long as you care to renew your trademark registration.
Canada used to have a 15-year term of registration and renewals but has switched to 10 years recently. Unlike with patents, there are no annual trademark maintenance fees. Once your trademark is registered, it's registered. All you have to do is renew it on time. it's the brand owner's responsibility to take care of trademark renewals in time.
There's usually a short period during which trademarks are to be renewed and it differs from country to country. It's either a few months before the expiration of the current term or a few months after. You can tell the exact time from what your trademark registration papers say. Make sure you read them and pay attention.
Now with Trademark Factory®, we make sure to notify brand owners of all renewal deadlines for the trademarks we registered for them and it's part of all our packages. oh, and one more thing, in the U.S. there's a mandatory maintenance filing between the fifth and the sixth anniversary of your trademark registration. When you need to file to the USPTO evidence to prove that you're still using your trademark. It's usually photos of your products, links to your web store, and other similar evidence.
If you don't file the necessary paperwork in time, your trademark will be canceled. I've actually seen a lot of trademarks canceled this way and brand owners didn't even know they were supposed to take care of the maintenance filing. So be very—extremely careful not to miss the deadlines when your trademarks register in the U.S. Again, this only happens once, between the fifth and the sixth anniversary of your trademark registration and then you would renew it on the 10th anniversary and then renew it again on the 20th anniversary, and so on. That's exactly what Coca-Cola has been doing since 1892.
Trademark Factory® will notify you of the maintenance filing deadlines if you register your U.S. trademarks through us. So there you have it. The initial trademark registrations last for 10 years either from the registration date or the date of the application, and you can renew them indefinitely every time for 10 years with no mandatory annual fees. Except there's one maintenance filing in the U.S. between the fifth and the sixth anniversary of the registration.
Disclaimer: Please note that this post and this video are not and are not intended as legal advice. Your situation may be different from the facts assumed in this post or video. Your reading this post or watching this video does not create a lawyer-client relationship between you and Trademark Factory International Inc., and you should not rely on this post or this video as the only source of information to make important decisions about your intellectual property.