What Is a Declaration of Excusable Nonuse?

Contact UsAsk A Free Legal Question

hand light bulb

Say, for instance, that you own a trademark that is not currently in use. But this does not necessarily mean that you want to abandon your rights over it. This is when a declaration of excusable nonuse may be necessary. Continue reading to learn more about the declaration of excusable nonuse and how an experienced New Jersey trademark lawyer at The Ingber Law Firm can help you in executing this.

In regards to my trademark, what is a declaration of excusable nonuse?

To elaborate, a declaration of excusable nonuse is a sworn statement that may be filed by you (the owner of a registered trademark) to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). This statement must disclose that your mark is not in commercial use due to special circumstances, but that you still intend to maintain ownership over it. This is in accordance with Section 8 of the Trademark Act.

How do I submit this declaration to the USPTO?

There are certain pieces of information that must supplement your declaration of excusable nonuse to the USPTO. They are as follows:

  • You must provide your name and address.
  • You must provide the registration number of your mark.
  • You must provide the goods or services that are connected to your mark.
  • You must provide the reasons for why your mark is not in use.
  • You must provide the expected date for your use of the mark to resume.
  • You must provide the exact steps you are taking to resume the use of the mark.
  • You must provide an affidavit or declaration that is signed and dated.
  • You must provide the required filing fee (which is approximately $525 per class of goods or services).

When do I submit this declaration to the USPTO?

Further, there are certain time periods in which you may make this sworn statement to the USPTO. That is, you may submit this declaration at the conclusion of the sixth year from the date on which you registered your mark. Or, you may do so at the conclusion of each succeeding 10-year period from the date on which you registered your mark.

Of note, you may be offered a six-month grace period. Otherwise, the USPTO may cancel the registration of your mark. This means that your canceled trademark may be eligible for purchase and use by competing companies.

But if you file on time and the USPTO ultimately accepts your declaration, then you may not have to file another one until the next filing period. In the end, you must take your declaration seriously. So pick up the phone and call a skilled Essex County, New Jersey intellectual property lawyer today. Someone at The Ingber Law Firm will be happy to answer.