Trademarks can serve as a valuable tool for creators or entrepreneurs looking to protect their brand from infringement. They are typically represented by a word, symbol, or phrase that represents a brand or product. So you’ve successfully done your research, completed a trademark search, and registered a trademark. Now you may be wondering: well, how long does a trademark last?


How Long Does a Trademark Last?

It is important that intellectual property protection holders keep their portfolios up to date. In the case of trademarks, they do not expire as long as the holder continues to utilize the trademark. 

 In addition to continued use of the trademark, the holder must file a section 8 declaration to the USPTO every five years. This declaration simply puts in writing that the protection is continuing to be used.


What if you Miss the Deadline?

The holder of a trademark that is in use must be sure to file a section 8 declaration with the USPTO every five years to ensure their protection stays active. Missing the filing deadline can be costly. 

 “If the owner fails to timely file the Section 8 Declaration, federal trademark rights will be canceled. If you miss the time period for filing you can still file the Section 8 Declaration within six months following the six-year anniversary date for an additional $100 fee.” Nolo


What Else Should You Do to Maintain Your Protection?

The work is not finished for trademark holders after their first Section 8 Declaration is filed. Between the ninth and tenth anniversary of the protection, the holder must also file an Application for Renewal, in addition to their declaration of use. According to the USPTO, “Every ten years you must submit a combined declaration of use and/or excusable nonuse and application for Renewal under Sections 8 and 9 combined filing. The USPTO forms combine the Section 8 declaration with the Section 9 renewal application. A Section 9 renewal application is a written request to keep your registration active.”

Taking these simple steps to renew your protection can be beneficial for protecting your brand. It can also be lucrative if you can eventually find the right buyer for your trademark. Take Meta, formally known as The Facebook Company, for example. Once they rebranded, they paid $60 million to acquire the ‘Meta’ trademark from the previous owners. 

Remember: the trademark holder must continue to repeat this process every ten years after. While it seems tedious, IP owners should always do their due diligence to maintain and keep their portfolios of patents, copyrights, trademarks, and trade secrets up to date since intellectual property is just as dynamic as any other aspect of a business venture.


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The Michelson Institute for Intellectual Property, an initiative of the Michelson 20MM Foundation, provides access to empowering IP education for budding inventors and entrepreneurs. Michelson 20MM was founded thanks to the generous support of renowned spinal surgeon Dr. Gary K. Michelson and Alya Michelson. To learn more, visit