What Does It Mean When a Trademark is Abandoned, and Why Does It Happen?

Trademark Registration What Does It Mean When a Trademark is Abandoned, and Why Does It Happen?

What Does It Mean When a Trademark Is Abandoned—Question Answered

What does it mean when a trademark is abandoned? Does it mean that it’s not available anymore, or can you still use it to shape the identity of your small business? When does the trademark cancellation occur, and what can you do to prevent it from happening?

Don’t let all these dilemmas puzzle you—this article will provide the answers! We also provide guidance on how to file a trademark application swiftly and effortlessly using DoNotPay!

The Basic Concept of Trademarks

Along with patents, copyrights, and service marks, you need a trademark to safeguard the originality of your business. They save the company’s intellectual property from infringement by prohibiting other people from using the same assets and ideas. Many elements related to your business image can be registered as a trademark, including:


The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is dedicated to registering new trademarks on a federal level.

Without registration, you possess common law ownership of your mark, but the use is limited to the geographic area where the core of your business is. Applying for a trademark with the USPTO allows you to use the protected ideas anywhere in the USA, helping your business thrive beyond your state’s borders.

What Is an Abandoned Trademark?

Trademarks filed with the USPTO require regular post-registration maintenance. In other words, you must submit renewal documentation at specific intervals to keep your trademark active and prove you are still using it.

If you fail to renew the registration for three consecutive years, the agency will change the status of your trademark to “dead” or “abandoned.” The same happens if:

  1. You decide not to continue using the trademark and file the paperwork to cancel the registration—Such a situation can occur due to the business shutdown or inability to cover the required fees
  2. A third party opposes your trademark—They can dispute the registration by proving that the asset you’re using as a trademark is not unique

How Can You Prevent Trademark Abandonment?

Besides renewing your registration regularly, here is what you can do to avoid abandoned trademarks:

  • Prove that you still have the intent to use the registered trademark by presenting:
    • Advertisements or other elements of your business featuring the mark
    • Evidence showing that the goods covered by the particular mark are still distributed
  • Give a solid reason for not using the mark—The potential excuses include specific circumstances that prevent you from using the idea or renewing the trademark registration
  • Transfer your trademark ownership rights to another person or business—If you allow other people to use the mark for commercial purposes, they will have to renew the registration for as long as they need it. By doing this, the new owner will not let the trademark get canceled

Can I Register an Abandoned Trademark?

Whether you can file an abandoned trademark depends on the current ownership of the dead trademark. Check out the table below for more details:

Trademark Type Can You Register It? Explanation
Your abandoned trademark No
  • According to the trademark protection law, once your mark becomes dead, you cannot retrieve it. All you can do is file a new trademark that corresponds with the goods or services you offer. It cannot be the same as the previous one—only similar or completely different
Someone else’s abandoned trademark Yes If you want the ownership of a trademark abandoned by another person, you must meet the following criteria:

  1. Run a USPTO trademark search to check the registration status of a specific trademark
  2. Find out why the mark has been abandoned
  3. Check the state databases to confirm that the trademark is abandoned—you may not be able to register it with the USPTO if it is not
  4. Start using the trademark as your own once you confirm the previous owner will not use it anymore
  5. Register the mark with the USPTO to obtain exclusive rights

Use DoNotPay To Get the Best Out of Your Trademark Application

The success of your trademark application depends on how precise you are when completing the application form. The registration procedure can be drawn-out and tiresome, but DoNotPay can assist you in overcoming this issue and filing a trademark without breaking a sweat!

Our AI-powered app will check with USPTO if your mark is eligible for registration and fill out the required form within minutes.

Here is what you need to do:

  1. Navigate to DoNotPay
  2. Choose Trademark Registration
  3. Pick the appropriate class for your goods
  4. Fill out the questionnaire about your trademark/business
  5. Pay the processing fees

All you need to do upon completing these steps is sign the form digitally. You do not even need to send the application to the USPTO yourself—we will do it in your stead and provide you with a serial number to follow the updates!

DoNotPay Helps You Raise the Bar in Business

Whether you are just getting started with your small business or are well into the game, DoNotPay can be your valuable assistant. We can help you manage various issues, such as:

You can focus on what is important while we take care of administrative tasks and problems.

Get More Done With Our Help

DoNotPay’s features at your disposal are versatile. We can assist you in registering your DMCA agent with the U.S. Copyright Office so that you can avoid exorbitant copyright infringement fines. Thanks to our app, preparing and filing business loan applications will also be smooth sailing.

If you want to protect your slogan, logo, and company name, we will guide you through the trademark registration process. The Employer Identification Number (EIN) issuance is another procedure our app is able to assist you with.

Would you like to self-certify your business under the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield program? DoNotPay will complete and file the request in your stead. Our app can help take care of your employees, too. Use DoNotPay to create and submit 83(b) election forms to the IRS.

Is the pile of documents due to be sent getting bigger by the minute? Not to worry—your pocket assistant can mail and fax your documents with ease.


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