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An Insider's Guide to Renewing Your Trademark

Renewing a trademark is a crucial step for any business or individual seeking to protect their brand identity and maintain exclusive rights to their intellectual property. Trademarks serve as a valuable asset, distinguishing products or services from competitors and building consumer trust. However, the process of renewing a trademark involves several key elements that must be carefully considered to ensure a seamless and successful renewal. In this article, we will explore these critical elements, including the importance of timely renewal, maintaining active use of the goods or services identified in the registration, and adjusting for any changes in your trademark or branding.

by Matt Swyers

updated 01/07/2024 | 4 Min Read 

Insider Tip 1: Renew it on Time

One of the most critical elements when renewing a trademark is ensuring timely renewal. Trademarks must first be renewed between the 5th and 6th anniversary of registration as well as every 10 years. Failing to renew within the specified timeframe can lead to the loss of trademark protection. Therefore, it is essential to keep track of renewal deadlines and submit the necessary paperwork and fees promptly. By doing so, brand owners can maintain their exclusive rights and prevent potential competitors from exploiting their brand identity.

For example, consider a well-established clothing brand that has built a strong reputation over the years. If the brand fails to renew its trademark on time, it opens the door for other businesses to use similar names or logos, leading to brand confusion and potential loss of market share. Timely renewal ensures that the brand’s unique identity remains protected, preserving its market position and consumer trust.

Insider Tip 2: Active Use and Verification with the USPTO

Another crucial element in trademark renewal is maintaining active use of the mark in connection with the goods or services with which it was registered. Trademarks are intended to identify and distinguish goods or services in the marketplace. If a trademark remains unused for an extended period, it may be vulnerable to cancellation due to non-use. Therefore, brand owners must demonstrate ongoing and genuine use of their trademarks to strengthen their renewal applications. In recent years, the USPTO has become far stricter in what they will accept to verify continuous use so trademark owners must be vigilant in what is submitted or risk loss of their rights. 

For instance, a software company that holds a trademark for a specific product must actively market and sell that product to maintain the mark’s validity. By actively using the trademark, the company not only strengthens its renewal application but also reinforces its brand presence in the market, making it less susceptible to infringement or dilution.

Insider Tip 3: No Alterations of the Trademark

One final tip to note, the trademark you are renewing must exactly match the one that you registered. This is especially critical for trademarks that incorporate a logo or a design. All to often trademark owners will make slight changes to their logos over the years. However, when they go to renew it they are rejected as the trademark sought to be renewed is not the same trademark that was registered. So if you have altered or changed your trademark in any manner you may need to register the new version rather than renew the original.


In conclusion, avoid these pitfalls to guarantee a smooth renewal of your trademark. As always, if you have any questions about this or anything else regarding trademark protection please contact us here at The Trademark Company.