For all registrations except those under section 66(a)
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Step 1. USPTO registers your trademark. After you receive your registration certificate, you must file specific registration maintenance documents and pay fees at regular intervals to keep your registration active. The deadlines for filing these documents are calculated from the registration date shown on the registration certificate. If you don’t file these documents by the deadlines, your registration will expire or be canceled and cannot be reinstated. Your only option is to file a new application. Go to step 2 for required post registration documents and go to step 2a for optional post registration documents.
Step 2. You file required registration maintenance documents. You must timely file these documents to maintain your registration. Between five and six years go to step 3.
Step 2a. You file optional registration maintenance documents. You are not required to file any of these documents to maintain a registration. For optional documents that may be filed at least five years after the registration date, go to step 3a and for optional documents that may be filed any time, go to steps 3b-3d.
Step 3. You file a Section 8 declaration. Before the end of the first six-year period after the registration date, or within six months of the expiration of the sixth year with an additional fee, you must file a Declaration of Use or Excusable Nonuse under Section 8 and pay applicable fees. This declaration must include a verified statement that your trademark is in use in commerce, along with evidence showing that use. If you don’t file this declaration, your registration will be canceled. The Section 8 declaration may be filed combined with the optional Section 15 declaration of incontestability (see step 3a for more information about this optional filing). Every 10 years go to step 4.
Step 3a. You file Section 15 declaration of incontestability. You may file a Section 15 declaration only if the trademark meets these criteria: 1) the trademark is registered on the Principal Register 2) the trademark has been in continuous use in commerce for at least five years after the registration date, and 3) there are no adverse legal decisions or pending legal proceedings involving rights in the registered trademark. A registration that is “incontestable” is a stronger registration that is easier to legally protect. A fee is required for this filing.
Step 3b. A new owner records ownership changes and files Section 7(d) request for new registration certificate. If you transfer or assign your registered trademark to a new owner, and the new owner wants a new registration certificate with their name on it, they must record the assignment with the USPTO and submit a Section 7(d) request form for a new registration certificate stating that the assignment has been recorded with the USPTO. A fee is required for recording the assignment and for a new certificate.
Step 3c. You file Section 7(e) voluntary surrender of registration. As the trademark registration owner, you may voluntarily surrender your registration for cancellation for all or only some of the goods and/or services. No fee is required.
Step 3d. You file Sections 7(g) and 7(h) request to amend or correct your registration. You may amend or correct the information in your registration by filing a Section 7(g) request to amend your registration or a Section 7(h) request to correct your registration. If you need to amend or correct the registered trademark itself, the changes must be minor and nonmaterial; we do not permit changes that will materially alter the trademark. And if you need to amend or correct the goods and/or services, you may only narrow or limit them; we do not permit changes that broaden the goods and/or services. A fee is required for requesting amendment or correction, except for corrections due to our error.
Step 4. You file a Section 8 declaration and Section 9 renewal. Within one year before the end of every 10-year period after the registration date, or within six months of the end of the 10-year period, you must file a Combined Declaration of Use or Excusable Nonuse/Application for Renewal under Sections 8 and 9 and pay applicable fees. This declaration generally must include a verified statement that your trademark is in use in commerce, along with evidence showing that use, and the renewal is a statement requesting that the USPTO renew your registration. If you don’t file this combined declaration, your registration will be canceled and expire.