IP Law by the Numbers



1 Year

The time a provisional patent is ‘good for.’ In order to benefit from the earlier filing date of the provisional, a non-provisional must be filed within 1 year/12 months.

20 Years

For Non-provisional patent applications that were filed on or after June 8, 1995, 20 years is the patent term.

17 years

For non-provisional applications that were filed before June 8, 1995 and patents still under their term at the time of June 8, 1995, the patent term is 17 years from the issue date. Note: The USPTO 20 year term was set to match many international patent terms.

15 years

Design patents (not utility ones) are a term of 15 years from their issuance if they were filed on or after May 13, 2015

14 years

Design patents that were filed before May 13, 2015 have a 14 year term.



3 Months

About the time it takes for an examining attorney at the USPTO to review/’get to’ your trademark application after filing.

30 days

Once an examining attorney reviews a trademark application and completes his or her review (note-there can be office actions in between), it is published for opposition for 30 days. During this time any third-party can oppose the mark and file an opposition proceeding which then initiates a case governed by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.

5 years

Rights to a trademark will cease to exist if a trademark isn’t used for 5 years. Note: “Unlike other forms of intellectual property (e.g., patents and copyrights) a registered trademark can, theoretically, last forever. So long as a trademark’s use is continuous a trademark holder may keep the mark registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office by filing Section 8 Affidavit(s) of Continuous Use as well as Section 9 Applications for renewal, as required.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trademark

Between 5th and 6th year

“Specifically, once registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office the owner of a trademark is required to file a Section 8 Affidavit of Continuous Use to maintain the registration between the 5th and 6th year anniversaries of the registration of the mark or during the 6-month grace period following the 6th-year anniversary of the registration. During this period, a trademark owner may concurrently opt to file a Section 15, Declaration of Incontestability. A mark declared incontestable is immune from future challenge, except in instances where the mark becomes generic, the mark is abandoned, or if the registration was acquired fraudulently. Note, if the Section 8 Affidavit is filed during the 6-month grace period additional fees to file the Affidavit with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office will apply”. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trademark

10 years

“In addition to requirement above, U.S. trademark registrations are also required to be renewed on or about every 10-year anniversary of the registration of the trademark. The procedure for 10-year renewals is somewhat different from that for the 5th-6th year renewal. In brief, registrants are required to file both a Section 8 Affidavit of Continuous Use as well as a Section 9 Application for Renewal every ten years to maintain their registration.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trademark



Life plus 70 years

Any work with a copyright that was published after 1977, the copyright lasts for the duration of the life of the author plus 70 years.

Between 95 and 120 years

If a work was done in an employment setting (for your employer, commissioned, etc.) or published anonymously or with a pseudonym, it will last between 95 and 120 years (depending on the date published—see number below for clarity).


A work published before 1923 is in the public domain. The copyright has expired.

Huge copyright timeline chart with more number. Thank you Cornell!


ecmapaqbiAt Mohr IP Law we are no stranger to counting. We make calendars, database entries, and notes on our desks to make sure we not only timely inform you of any documents received regarding your application, we keep you on track after so you can successfully maintain and protect your intellectual property for years to come. We also count our blessings.


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