TMEP 1606.03: Time for Filing §9 Renewal Application

October 2017 Edition of the TMEP

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1606.03    Time for Filing §9 Renewal Application

The application for renewal must be filed within one year before the expiration of the registration, or within the six-month grace period after the expiration of the registration with an additional grace period surcharge.  If no renewal application is filed before the end of the grace period, the registration will expire. 15 U.S.C. §1059(a); 37 C.F.R. §2.182.  See TMEP §§1602 et seq. as to the term of a registration.

A renewal application may be filed on the anniversary dates of the statutory period.

Example :  For a registration issued on November 5, 1998, an application for renewal may be filed as early as November 5, 2007, and as late as November 5, 2008, before entering the six-month grace period.

Under 37 C.F.R. §2.195(a)(2), a renewal application filed through TEAS is considered to have been filed on the date the USPTO receives the transmission, regardless of whether that date is a Saturday, Sunday, or Federal holiday within the District of Columbia.  When the renewal application is submitted electronically, TEAS almost immediately displays a "Success" page that confirms receipt.  This page is evidence of filing should any question arise as to the filing date of the application, and it may be printed or copied-and-pasted into an electronic record for storage.  TEAS also separately sends an e-mail acknowledgement of receipt, which includes a summary of the filed information.

An application for renewal of a registration filed on paper is considered timely if it is received in the USPTO by the due date or if it is mailed or transmitted by the due date with a certificate of mailing or facsimile transmission in accordance with 37 C.F.R. §2.197. See TMEP §§305.02 and 306.05 for certificate of mailing and certificate of facsimile transmission procedures to avoid lateness.

The Director has no authority to waive the deadline for filing a proper §9 renewal application. See In re Holland Am. Wafer Co., 737 F.2d 1015, 1018, 222 USPQ 273, 275 (Fed. Cir. 1984) ("Timeliness set by statute is not a minor technical defect which can be waived by the Commissioner."). Cf. Checkers Drive-In Restaurants, Inc. v. Comm'r of Patents and Trademarks., 51 F.3d 1078, 1085, 34 USPQ2d 1574, 1581 (D.C. App. 1995), cert. denied516 U.S. 866 (1995) ("[I]n establishing cancellation as the penalty for failure to file the required affidavit [under 15 U.S.C. §1058], Congress made no exception for the innocent or the negligent.  Thus, the Commissioner had no discretion to do other than cancel Checkers's service mark registration in this case").