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Understanding your trademark: Registering

When you're ready to get your business up and running, one of the things you'll look into is obtaining a trademark and registering it. You don't need to do everything all at once, but knowing about trademarks is important. For instance, you need to know how long a trademark will last.

The answer to that is simple. Registering a trademark is more or less indefinite, but you need to continue using the trademark for your business, goods and services. Here's a little more that you should know about obtaining and using your trademark in business.

Do you need to use a trademark to register it?

No, at the time of registration, you don't need to use it. However, you do need to have an intention to use it and to file an "intent-to-use" application. When you do start using the trademark, you need to then file a Statement of Use to show that you are using it at that time. You'll have to pay additional fees to file your Statement of Use.

How long does a federal trademark last?

A federal trademark lasts 10 years, and you can renew it every 10 years for an addition decade. You do need to make sure you let the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) know that the trademark is still in use between the fifth and sixth years. If you don't file an affidavit stating that it's in use, it can be cancelled. Keep in mind that you will not be reminded to renew or file an affidavit for your trademark.

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Costello Law Corporation
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