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Trademark Audits

Author:CELEBLAWS, P.A.    Source:Original    Release time:2022-07-19 17:47    Browse volume:

What is a trademark audit?

The USPTO randomly audits registrations to determine whether trademarks are still being used in connection with the goods and/or services identified the owner’s original trademark registration. The trademark register in the United States is a use-based register, meaning that registrations are entitled to be maintained only for goods or services for which the trademark is in use in commerce. According to the USPTO’s policy, “inaccurate or improper use claims in registration maintenance filings jeopardize the validity of your registration, may unnecessarily block future applications, and diminish the utility of the trademark register to provide notice of trademark rights to businesses and the public.”①

 

What triggers a trademark audit?

A trademark audit is typically triggered after you submit periodic maintenance filings and if your registration includes:

· (a) at least one class and identifies four or more goods or services, or

· (b) at least two classes with two or more goods or services.  

 

What happens if your registration is audited?

If your registration is audited, you will receive an office action from the USPTO notifying you that your mark has been selected for audit. The auditor will request proof of use for each identified good or service.

 

What is “proof of use”?

Proof of use is evidence that clearly shows how you are using your trademark in commerce on the goods or in connection with the services identified in your registration. You must submit proof of use when responding to the office action. For goods, acceptable proof of use may include photos of the mark on a tag or label affixed to the goods, photos of the mark on the packaging of the goods, or dated screenshots of webpages showing the mark being used in connection with the goods at their point of sale. For services, acceptable proof of use may include copies of brochures where the mark is used to advertise the services, photos of the mark on retail signage or delivery vehicles, or dated screenshots of webpages showing the mark’s use in the actual sale or advertising of the services.

 

If you cannot provide proof of use for the audited goods or services, you must delete all goods or services for which you cannot provide proof of use (not just the ones selected for audit). Your failure to provide sufficient proof of use may trigger another audit however.

 


①https://www.uspto.gov/trademarks/maintain/post-registration-audit-program#Background

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