Good to know: The US trademark office has a ‘proof of use’ audit program for trademark registrations

The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) requires trademark owners to support their trademark registrations by providing one specimen of use per class, at both 6 years and 10 years after the trademark registration date. So, for instance, if you have a registration covering ‘clothing, footwear and headgear’ in class 25, providing the US trademark office with an example of the mark being used on a baseball cap will be sufficient to support the registration in respect of all goods covered by the registration, despite the fact a specimen of use had only been provided in respect of one item of headgear. In November 2017, the USPTO introduced a ‘Post Registration Proof of Use Audit Program’. The program aims to promote the accuracy and integrity of the US trademark register, as it allows auditors to cancel audited registrations which have unsubstantiated use claims, and to remove goods and/or services from trademark registrations where owners have not…

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