How soon after I have an idea should I trademark my intellectual property?

You should register a trademark or business name as soon as possible after you conceive the idea for the trademark. For many years it was necessary to first make a bona fide commercial use in interstate commerce of the name or mark before you were able to register a trademark. Only after you made such use could you file for trademark or name registration.

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How long do trademark rights last?

An active trademark can last indefinitely. The key is that the owner must continue to use the trademark for it to remain valid. Ownership or property rights in trademarks are dependent upon continued and active use and not necessarily secured by a contract or other agreement.

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Can trademarks be cancelled?

It is possible for a trademark to be cancelled. The Trademark Office, on its own or by request, may initiate proceedings to cancel trademarks that are improperly obtained. Trademark rights can be canceled due to abandonment, improper licensing or assignment, improper use, or if they are too generic.

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