and Transferring Your
Trademark rights exist only as long as the owner uses and protects the mark. Moreover, once a registration is issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO), the registrant must file renewal and other documents with the PTO to verify continued use of the mark. Failure to file the appropriate documents results in cancellation of the registration. Many companies institute formal trademark compliance policies to ensure that rights are not lost by improper use of their marks. Marks can be sold to others or licensed to others as long as the trademark owner retains the right to control the quality of the goods or services offered under the licensed mark.
Because trademark rights stem from use, the PTO wants to ensure that registered marks are actually in use. Marks not being used are cleared from the PTO registers and are then available to others. The PTO requires that trademark owners take the following actions to maintain a registration: