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  • Danielle Brent-Bownes

What Happens When You Don't Use Your Registered Trademark?

A trademark is an essential part of a business's identity, helping to distinguish it from others in the marketplace and establish its reputation. That's why it's important to continue using your trademark after it's been registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

But what happens if you don't use your trademark?

  1. Abandonment: If you stop using your trademark and make no effort to maintain it, the USPTO may consider it abandoned. This means that someone else could potentially use your trademark and there would be nothing you could do to stop them.

  2. Loss of Exclusive Rights: When you register your trademark, you gain exclusive rights to use it in connection with your goods and services. If you stop using your trademark, you risk losing these rights and opening the door for others to use your trademark without your permission.

  3. Reputation Damage: Your trademark represents your brand and the quality of your products or services. If you stop using your trademark, it can damage your brand's reputation and confuse customers who have come to associate your trademark with your business.

  4. Difficulty Enforcing Trademark Infringement: If you don't use your trademark, it may be difficult to enforce your rights if someone else starts using it. This could result in legal battles and costly trademark infringement lawsuits.

  5. Risk of Cancellation: If another business petitions to cancel your trademark for non-use, your trademark could be cancelled and you would lose your exclusive rights to use it.

So, what can you do to avoid these consequences?

  1. Use Your Trademark Consistently: Make sure to use your trademark consistently on all your products and in all your advertising and marketing materials. This will help to maintain your trademark's strength and keep it in good standing.

  2. Monitor Your Trademark: Regularly monitor your trademark to ensure that no one else is using it without your permission. If you do come across any instances of infringement, take action promptly to protect your rights.

  3. Update Your Trademark Information: If there are any changes to your business's contact information, make sure to update the USPTO as soon as possible. This will ensure that you can be contacted if any issues arise with your trademark.

  4. Renew Your Trademark: Finally, make sure to renew your trademark every 10 years to keep it in good standing.

Not using your registered trademark can have serious consequences for your brand, including abandonment, loss of exclusive rights, reputation damage, difficulty enforcing infringement, and even cancellation. By using your trademark consistently, monitoring it for infringement, updating your information, and renewing it every 10 years, you can help protect your trademark and maintain your brand's reputation.

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