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Trademarks

Information on understanding what a trademark is and what a copyright covers.

How Long Does A Trademark Registration Last?

The registration is valid as long as you file all post-registration maintenance documents in a timely manner. You must file a “Declaration of Use under Section 8” between the fifth and sixth year following registration. In addition, you must file a combined “Declaration of Use and Application for Renewal under Sections 8 and 9” between the ninth and tenth year after registration, and every 10 years thereafter. If these documents are not timely filed, your registration will be cancelled and cannot be revived or reinstated.

Myths and Misunderstandings

It is better to register a logo, or the words in a special font style, rather than just the plain words – wrong -

  • Registration of the words in standard character form usually provides broader protection.

  • Protecting the words is normally more important than graphics.

  • Registering the words in standard character form permits changes to the font style without re-registration.

Infringement is avoided if a word is misspelled or used with different graphics – probably wrong -

  • Spelling variations, including misspellings, are unlikely to side-step confusing similarity, particularly if the meaning and pronunciation has not changed.

  • Spelling variants are usually considered equivalents in trademark law.

  • If a mark is likely to be confused with another's in the marketplace, infringement probably (but not always) exists.

A telephone number or address following the trademark is acceptable - wrong -

  • If it is followed by a telephone number or address or email address, it is a trade name, not a trademark.

  • A trade name identifies a business, and a business has a telephone number, address, etc.

  • A trademark is a brand name, and has no telephone number, address, etc.

  • The same words can be used both as a trademark and as a trade name, but never as both as the same time.

  • Trade name use will not support a trademark registration.