In the United States is it incumbent on a trademark holder to conduct trade under that trademark to retain the trademark?

For example, Venus pencils was an old trademark that was bought in 1973 by Faber Castell and is no longer used. No pencils have been produced under this trademark in over 40 years. So, let's imagine someone starts making pencils using this trademark, could Faber Castell bring a successful action against them, or has Faber Castell lost the ability to control the trademark by failing to use it?

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  • As far as the example, is concerned, USPTO lists the Venus pencils trademark as "dead" (see tmsearch.uspto.gov/bin/…). I suppose the question is more about the conditions under which a trademark can remain "live" without being used or under which it becomes "dead."
    – phoog
    May 10, 2022 at 10:39

2 Answers 2


Trademarks must be used to retain validity

Trademarks are subject to a use it or lose it rule. In Australia, non use for 3 years ends the trademark.


In the US, a trademark which has not been used in commerce for five years may be challenged and, if the challenge succeeds, removed from active registration.

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