Understanding Trademark Maintenance: Section 8 Affidavit of Use and Section 15 Incontestability
Protecting your intellectual property is essential for the long-term success of your business. In this post, Fontanez Law Firm will delve into two crucial aspects of trademark maintenance: the Section 8 Affidavit of Use and Section 15 Incontestability. These processes ensure that your trademark rights remain intact and provide you with a competitive edge in the market.
Section 8 Affidavit of Use: Sustaining Your Trademark Rights
A trademark is only valuable if it’s actively used in commerce. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) requires trademark owners to demonstrate ongoing use of their marks to maintain their registered status. This is where the Section 8 Affidavit of Use comes into play.
The Section 8 Affidavit of Use is a sworn statement submitted to the USPTO, affirming that your registered trademark is still being used in commerce for the goods or services covered by the registration. This affidavit must be filed between the fifth and sixth year after registration and then again at the tenth-year anniversary and every ten years thereafter.
Filing a Section 8 Affidavit of Use demonstrates your commitment to actively using your trademark and prevents it from being vulnerable to cancellation due to non-use. Failing to file this affidavit can result in the cancellation of your trademark registration, leaving your brand unprotected.
Section 15 Incontestability: Strengthening Your Trademark Rights
After continuous and consistent use of your trademark, you may be eligible to enhance its protection through Section 15 Incontestability. This status provides a higher level of legal certainty and prevents certain challenges to your trademark’s validity.
To achieve Section 15 Incontestability, your mark must have been registered on the Principal Register for at least five consecutive years, and you need to submit a declaration of incontestability to the USPTO. Once granted, your trademark becomes less susceptible to challenges based on factors like descriptiveness or similarity to other marks.
This powerful legal tool solidifies your brand’s position in the market and makes it significantly more difficult for others to invalidate your trademark. It provides a sense of security and peace of mind, enabling you to focus on growing your business.
Trademark maintenance is a crucial aspect of protecting your brand and intellectual property. By staying diligent with the Section 8 Affidavit of Use and potentially pursuing Section 15 Incontestability status, you can safeguard your trademark rights and establish a strong foundation for your business’s growth.
At Fontanez Law, we understand the complexities of trademark law and are here to guide you through every step of the maintenance process. If you have questions or need assistance with maintaining your trademark, don’t hesitate to reach out to our experienced legal team. Your brand’s success is our priority.