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How long could your trademark last?

A trademark is an important to protect your brand and intellectual property. Do you need to worry that it's going to expire at some point? How long will the trademark last?

While some types of IP protections do run out, e.g., copyrights and patents, the same is not true for trademarks. There's no expiration date. You don't have to worry about using it for a set amount of years and then losing it to someone else.

The key lies in use. For a trademark to last, you have to show actual use of that trademark in a practical sense. As long as that use continues, the trademark lasts. This means that you could abandon a trademark if you fail to use it for long enough, but, as long as your company continues to use it, you still hold the rights to that trademarked information.

For many companies, this means that the trademark simply lasts as long as the company does. Every product comes with packaging with the protected mark on it. Each time this packaging is printed and sold, the company is using the trademark and showing that it still has value. You don't have to do anything specific. If someone infringes on the trademark, you can take legal action.

Understanding how long the mark should last does not mean that you will never have any problems with it. Another company could infringe on your mark and cost your business money or damage your reputation. If this happens, be sure you know what legal steps to take to protect your legal branding rights.

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Costello Law Corporation
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Roseville, CA 95661

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