Trademark renewal is the process through which a trademark maintains its registration. If the renewal rules are followed, a trademark can maintain registration indefinitely. Without adhering to the renewal standards set by the United States Patent and Trademark Office, federally registered trademarks expire.
Below, we outline what forms, fees, and timelines you need to keep track of for trademark renewal, as well as what information you’ll need to include on the required paperwork.
This article will cover:
Understanding Trademark Renewal
Trademark renewal isn’t the most straightforward process. To have a better chance of renewal success, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Registration Date
Your renewal deadlines are based on your trademark’s registration date—the day your mark received approval from the USPTO.
- Renewal Period
You can submit renewal filings up to a year ahead of the official due date. That’s why you’ll see phrasing like “9-10 years post-registration.” In this example, the filing is actually due at the 10-year mark, but will be accepted starting at year 9.
- Email Reminders
The USPTO sends reminders at the start of each renewal period to the email(s) they have on file for your trademark. But don’t get sneaky—the USPTO is careful to say that your renewal filings are still due even if the reminder email doesn’t find you.
Our Trademark Service helps you move through the registration process. And when the time comes for renewal, we can help you with that, too.
How to Renew a Trademark
To renew a federally registered trademark, you must meet various filing deadlines throughout the life of your mark. Most of these deadlines are on a 10-year rotation, though there is also a renewal filing due by your 6-year registration anniversary.
Here’s how the renewal process breaks down:
First Renewal: Due 6 Years Post-Registration
Between years 5 and 6 after your trademark registration date, your first renewal filing is due: Declaration of Use and/or Excusable Nonuse under section 8. This costs $225 per trademark class to file.
When filing this form, you will generally attest that the mark is still in use. In rare situations, temporary non-use proven to be outside the mark owner’s control may be acceptable.
All marks, regardless of use status, must include the following with section 8:
- Trademark registration number
- Name and address of trademark’s current owner
- Signed and dated statement confirming the information’s accuracy
- Filing fee
For in-use filings, also include:
- A declaration that says the mark is being used in commerce
- Summary of the goods and services connected to the mark
- One specimen (example) per class of goods/services that shows the trademark being used in commerce
For not-in-use filings, also include:
- The goods/services not currently connected to the mark in commerce
- Date of the trademark’s last use in commerce
- Date when use in commerce is expected to start again
- Explanation of why the mark is not in use
- Steps that will be taken to re-start use
Subsequent Renewals: Due Every 10 Years Post-Registration
Between years 9 and 10 after your trademark’s registration date, your second renewal filing needs to be submitted: Declaration of Use and/or Excusable Nonuse and an Application for Renewal under sections 8 and 9. This same filing will be due again between years 19 and 20, 29 and 30, and so on for as long as you want your trademark’s registration to stay active.
The section 8 and 9 paperwork is technically two forms, but the USPTO combines the filing. Where the purpose of section 8 is to confirm whether your trademark is still in use, section 9 is the actual renewal application. This combined filing costs $525 per class.
The combined section 8 and 9 filing requires nearly identical information to the standalone section 8 filing. But in addition to all the section 8 requirements, you’ll also include a signed/dated request to renew the registration.
How Do I File Trademark Renewal Documents?
Trademark renewal documents can only be filed online, with rare exceptions. (This rule went into effect in 2020. Prior to that, you were able to file by mail or hand-delivery.)
To file online, you’ll use the Trademark Electronic Application System via your MyUSPTO account.
Trademark Renewal FAQs
How often do you have to renew a trademark?
Trademark renewal fees and documents are due every 10 years once your mark is registered. You also have to submit renewal paperwork and payment between the 5th and 6th years following registration.
When should I submit my trademark renewal documents?
While you have a year to submit trademark renewal filings during each renewal period, the USPTO recommends filing earlier rather than later. This allows more time to remedy solvable problems without incurring additional fees.
How much does it cost to renew a trademark?
Renewing a trademark can be expensive, and like most trademark fees, what’s owed is dependent upon how many classes your mark is registered in.
- Between years 5-6 post-registration: you’ll pay $225 per class.
- Renewals on the 10-year rotation: you’ll pay $525 per class.
Are there optional renewal filings to consider?
Yes. In addition to required renewal documents, there are optional renewal documents you may choose to file as well.
- Declaration of Incontestability under section 15: After 5 years of continuous use, some trademarks will meet the requirements to submit this form. If the filing is accepted, certain portions of the registration can no longer be challenged by outside parties.
- Section 7 Amendment or Correction to Registration: This form is used if you need to make changes to your registration, such as if you stop using your trademark in connection to certain products.
What happens after I file my trademark renewal documents?
After you submit your trademark renewal documents, they will be reviewed by a USPTO trademark examiner. If all goes well, the USPTO will issue a notice accepting your renewal. If there are any issues, you’ll receive an office action detailing the problem and possible solutions.
What if I miss a trademark renewal deadline?
If you miss the deadline to file trademark renewal documents/fees, you will enter a 6-month grace period. During that time, you can submit the necessary components along with higher fees:
- If you file section 8 during the grace period, you’ll owe a total of $325 per class.
- If you submit the combined section 8 and 9 filing during the grace period, your fees will total $725 per class.
Should you fail to file by the grace period deadline, your trademark registration will be abandoned. In rare situations, you may be able to revive an expired registration within a specific timeline, usually two months from the notice of expiration. But generally, once a trademark is abandoned you will have to submit an entirely new application if you want the mark to be registered.