Behind the Clock: Understanding the Risks of Delaying Trademark Renewal KEY TAKEAWAYS Trademarks are like the face of a company, they are what makes a brand unique. Knowing what a trademark is and what can be trademarked. Knowing the importance of why you need to renew your trademark before it expires. Getting to know the importance of timely renewal and how to renew a trademark.
Trademarks are the face of a company. They have been around for more than 800 years.
The first-ever trademark was created under the rule of King Henry III of England in 1266, which required all the bakers in England to use a unique mark for the bread they sold.
Fast forward to 2024 and today, trademarks play a pretty important role in protecting a brand’s identity and reputation.
So, What Exactly is a Trademark?
Well, it can be anything. A simple design, a symbol, a word, or a phrase. Anything that can identify the source of a product or company and can be easily distinguished from other companies is a trademark.
For example, the word
“Coca-Cola” is a trademark, as is the word written in a stylized script and the original curvy design of the bottle too.
By registering a trademark, one can get exclusive rights to use the brand name, logo, and identity for specific goods and services.
What Can You Actually Trademark?
It can be anything that can help your business stand out.
For example, the name of the business, the product you’re selling, the brand logo or label, a symbol or design, a sound, or even your product package.
Usually, when you register a trademark, it comes with a 10-year validity.
DID YOU KNOW? Coca-Cola registered its trademark for “nutrient or tonic beverages” in 1893.
But what happens when you forget to renew it?
In this article, we will get familiar with the risks of
delaying trademark renewal and why it’s necessary to stay vigilant. The Basics of Trademark Renewal
Renewal is pretty much a part of the maintenance filing you do post-registration to extend the protection of the brand that trademarks guarantee.
Once you have registered, it’s not a forever thing. Usually, it lasts only about 10 years and you need to renew it before the due date if you want to continue using it.
So, what’s the renewal process for a trademark like?
The Renewal Process
To renew the trademark, the process is pretty simple. You need to submit all the required documents to the
United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
These documents basically state that you’re still using the trademark for business purposes.
But, if you forget even one document then the process can get pretty complicated. And if this is you, then think about hiring a trademark attorney to help you with federal trademark registration.
Risks of Delaying Trademark Renewal
There are many downsides if you forget or delay the renewal of your trademark.
This can happen pretty often and is one of the most significant risks if you delay filing for the renewal of the trademark.
Yes, the possibility that it expires is pretty huge.
And, once it expires, you pretty much lose all legal rights related to that trademark.
This means that it is free for all and anyone can use your trademark for themselves.
Loss of Trademark Rights
Expiring a trademark also means that you lose the exclusive rights to use your brand name and logo.
This means that your competitors could use a similar or identical mark, confusing the customers and potentially damaging your brand’s reputation.
Costly Late Fees
The USPTO imposes late fees for delayed trademark renewals.
These fees can add up making it pretty expensive when you try reinstating the protection again.
Lengthy legal battles
Without trademark protection, you may be involved in many lengthy
legal battles to regain control of the brand identity.
This will take a lot of time and resources and the damage to your brand’s reputation is pretty much unrecoverable.
The Importance of Timely Renewal
Once you look at the risks, you know that losing a trademark can deal a pretty heavy blow to your brand/company’s image and reputation, and in some cases, it can be impossible to recover from it.
But if you’re diligent and renew the trademark before it expires, then it’s possible to take advantage of the following advantages.
Six-Month Grace Period
Owners have a grace period of six months to renew their trademarks after the official renewal date.
But this grace period is not without risks. Your trademark remains vulnerable during this time, and you can still rack up some pretty huge late filing fees.
Maintaining Trademark Rights
Timely renewal of trademark registrations makes sure of the continuous maintenance of your trademark rights.
It also demonstrates your commitment to protecting the
business and helps maintain consumer trust and confidence. Avoiding Cancellation
If, after all this, you still fail to renew the trademark application within the grace period, you might just lose the trademark.
It can also be canceled.
Basic Trademark Maintenance Document Filing Process How to Renew Your Trademark
To avoid the risks associated with delaying trademark renewal, follow these steps:
Keep a close eye on your trademark’s renewal date to ensure you don’t miss it. Submit your renewal application to the USPTO along with the required maintenance documents. Be prepared to pay the renewal fees to keep your trademark protected. Don’t wait until the last minute to initiate the renewal process. Start early to avoid any potential delays. Last Words
Delaying trademark renewal can have extreme consequences for your
It can lead to an expired trademark, a loss of rights, costly fees, and legal battles.
If you want to keep the trademark’s protection and protect your brand’s identity, you need to renew your trademark on time.
But you can’t let the risks of procrastination outweigh the benefits of a timely trademark renewal timeline.
Renew your trademark today.
Also Read: How to Register a Business Name