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Nonuse of Trademarks Due to Economic Hiatus: Maintaining Registration, Navigating Excusable Nonuse

Recording of a 90-minute premium CLE webinar with Q&A

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Conducted on Thursday, November 5, 2020

Recorded event now available

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This CLE course will provide guidance to trademark counsel on excusable nonuse of marks, including the impact of COVID. The panel will examine recent cases and the lessons learned from them. The panel will also discuss use audits and the implications of those audits for nonuse. The panel will examine how temporary nonuse is handled in jurisdictions outside the U.S.


Thousands and thousands of trademarks are due for renewal each year and the time of COVID-19 is no different. COVID has caused the temporary shutdown of some businesses, which may include the nonuse of some marks.

If a mark owner stops using a trademark for a sufficiently long period, his rights may become vulnerable to third-party claims of abandonment. To maintain a federal trademark registration, trademark owners periodically must file declarations of continued use with the USPTO. COVID per se does not automatically suspend the duty to file such declarations of use. However, the failure to do so or to explain the reasons for non-use would result in loss of registrations and could give rise to claims that common law rights in the marks have been abandoned.

If the mark is not in use when the owner must file the declaration, owners should consider the option of claiming that the nonuse is excusable. When claiming excusable nonuse, owners should include additional information than would typically be included. Also, counsel may consider the use of a declaration of excusable nonuse in the alternative.

Listen as our authoritative panel of IP attorneys examines excusable nonuse, including the impact of COVID and the guidance from recent cases. The panel will also review use audits, their implications, and how non-U.S. jurisdictions handle temporary nonuse.



  1. Excusable nonuse
  2. Temporary nonuse of trademarks due to COVID
  3. Use audits and their implications
  4. Nonuse in non-U.S. jurisdictions


The panel will review these and other relevant issues:

  • When can an owner renew its trademark registration despite nonuse based on excusable nonuse?
  • Can COVID-19 provide a sufficient basis for claiming excusable nonuse of a mark?
  • What are the long term implications of COVID-19 on the incontestability of trademarks?


Bhatti, Farah
Farah Bhatti


Ms. Bhatti focuses her practice on all aspects of trademark prosecution including advising, counseling and securing...  |  Read More

Pink, Scott
Scott W. Pink

Special Counsel
O'Melveny & Myers

Mr. Pink advises technology, media, entertainment, and a variety of consumer product and franchise companies on issues...  |  Read More

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