The PTO recently announced a change in practice that may significantly reduce the number of registrations inadvertently cancelled for failure to file the required declaration of use/renewal documents. Unlike many other countries, the US PTO actively polices the Federal Register against “dead wood” registrations — namely, marks that are no longer in use and/or foreign registrations for which use in US commerce never occurred. Thus, the PTO requires that all new registrants file a Declaration of Use between the fifth and sixth anniversary of registration, as well as file renewals every ten years following registration. Until now, registrants were required to docket and remember those dates without prompting.

As of January 2015, the PTO has announced its plans to begin sending email reminders of pending post-registration maintenance filing deadlines to registrants who have provided a valid email address to the PTO and authorized email communications.

Registrants can visit www.uspto.gov/about/contacts to view and revise their email preferences. Additional information about the notice is available at www.uspto.gov/trademarks/notices/reminder_maintenance_filings.jsp