Trademark Revival - the Good and the Bad

Trademark Revival - the Good and the Bad

  • 10 June, 2024
  • Nyall Engfield

Trademark revival is a critical process for entities that have unintentionally let their trademark applications lapse into abandonment.

Check the Status of you Trademark to be sure.

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) allows for the revival of abandoned applications under certain conditions, primarily if the abandonment was unintentional. This procedure is not just a bureaucratic formality; it's a lifeline for businesses and individuals who, due to various reasons such as oversight or miscommunication, missed crucial deadlines during the trademark registration process. Understanding the nuances of trademark revival, the steps involved, its potential advantages, and disadvantages is essential for navigating the complexities of intellectual property management.

Understanding Trademark Abandonment and Revival

Trademark applications can be abandoned for several reasons, including failing to respond to USPTO office actions or not submitting a Statement of Use (SOU) within the required timeframe. Once an application is deemed abandoned, the trademark is no longer on the path to registration, and the protections that come with a pending application cease. However, if the abandonment was unintentional, the USPTO offers an opportunity to petition for revival. This petition must convincingly argue that the failure to act was unintentional and must be accompanied by the action that was due (e.g., response to the office action or SOU filing) and the required fee (currently $275 including extension fee).

The Process of Revival

The process begins with filing a Petition to Revive with the USPTO, including all necessary documents and fees. This petition must be filed within a reasonable time after the applicant becomes aware of the abandonment. The USPTO then reviews the petition to determine whether the circumstances justify revival. This decision hinges on the sincerity of the unintentional delay claim and the timeliness of the petition filing. If the petition is granted, the application is returned to active status, and the trademark registration process resumes as if the abandonment had never occurred.

Next Steps After Revival

Once an application is revived, it's crucial to promptly address any issues that led to the initial abandonment. This might involve responding to an office action with substantive arguments or amendments, submitting a required SOU, or simply completing pending paperwork. At this stage, meticulous attention to USPTO communications is paramount to prevent a second abandonment. Applicants may also consider consulting with or hiring a trademark attorney to navigate the process, ensuring compliance with USPTO requirements and timelines.

Advantages of Trademark Revival

Reviving an abandoned trademark application preserves the original filing date (it usually takes about 14 months to registration), which is critical in establishing priority over other marks. This aspect is particularly important in the competitive trademark landscape, where a few days can make a difference in claim seniority. Additionally, revival saves applicants from starting anew, avoiding the costs and time associated with filing a fresh application. It maintains the momentum toward securing trademark registration, protecting the brand identity, and legal rights associated with the mark.

Disadvantages of Trademark Revival

While revival is a valuable option for unintentionally abandoned applications, it's not without its disadvantages. The process incurs additional fees on top of what has already been spent on the application, increasing the overall cost of registration. Moreover, the review process for the Petition to Revive can add significant delays to the registration timeline, especially if the USPTO has queries or requires further evidence regarding the unintentional nature of the abandonment. Currently there can be up to sixty (60) days delay to revive an abandoned trademark.

Furthermore, there's no guarantee of success; the USPTO may deny the petition if it finds the explanation for the delay insufficient or untimely. Such a denial not only halts the revival process but also leaves the applicant without the sought-after trademark protection, potentially opening the door for competitors to lay claim to similar marks. Furthermore, a competitor could challenge the revival as unauthorized (fraudulent statements etc.)

Strategic Considerations and Prevention

Given the potential costs and delays associated with reviving an abandoned trademark application, the best strategy is prevention. This entails closely monitoring application deadlines, promptly responding to USPTO communications, and ensuring that all submissions are complete and accurate. For many businesses, particularly those with extensive trademark portfolios or those unfamiliar with trademark law, partnering with a trademark attorney can provide invaluable oversight and expertise, reducing the risk of unintentional abandonment.


Trademark revival offers a second chance for applications that have been unintentionally abandoned, allowing applicants to continue their pursuit of trademark registration without losing their original filing date. However, the process involves additional costs, potential delays, and the uncertainty of USPTO approval. As such, while trademark revival is a critical tool in the intellectual property management arsenal, it underscores the importance of diligent application monitoring and compliance to avoid the need for revival in the first place. Overall, if you are interested in the mark in the future, revival is the better option to ensure your right, as opposed to refiling. In the competitive and fast-paced world of trademark registration, a proactive and informed approach remains the best defense against the pitfalls of abandonment and the complexities of revival.

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