Once you’ve registered your trademark at the USPTO, you are required to maintain your registration, or the registration will abandon or cancel. If canceled or abandoned, you will need to file a new application but there is no guarantee that the mark will re-register. It’s critical to police and maintain the registered mark.

During the trademark prosecution process, the USPTO will search the mark to determine if marks exists that are likely to cause confusion. If no marks are found, the USPTO will publish the mark for the public to challenge. If the mark is not challenged, once use is shown, the mark will register. If a challenger misses the opportunity to challenge the mark during its prosecution, the challenger can cancel the mark, once it’s registered. Reasons for cancelling a mark include nonuse or abandonment. The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board has started a pilot program for cancellation proceedings involving claims of abandonment and/or nonuse. Participating could save you time and money compared to a traditional cancellation proceeding.

The pilot program will explore a faster, more cost-effective way to remove unused or abandoned registrations from the Trademark Register. Contact a qualified trademark attorney or the USPTO to answer any questions you have about participating in this pilot program.