Registering a trademark is a big step in expanding your business and establishing your brand. When you register a mark, don’t forget to keep track of your application status. After the United States Patent and Trademark Office approves your application, continue to check trademark status to make sure you are protected.
If you are wondering how to check the status of your trademark, you probably have a registration, or at least have applied for one. To register your trademark, file an application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. If this process is new to you, or you’re unsure of how to proceed, it’s a good idea to hire a trademark attorney.
There are many benefits to registering a mark, but first and foremost are increased protections. If you plan to continuously expand your business, consider registering your trademark.
The USPTO is in charge of reviewing applications and monitoring registered marks. When you apply for a registered trademark, the USPTO will communicate with you throughout the process to collect information or missing paperwork.
A trademark applicant is someone in the process of completing the trademark filing and application process. Applicants check their status to see if their application has been approved, or if the USPTO needs more information.
A trademark registrant has already completed the process and the USPTO granted them registration. Registrants check trademark status to make sure all their information is up to date.
Whether you fall into the category of applicant or registrant, checking your status is important. There are two primary ways to check your trademark status: online, or over the phone.
Checking your trademark’s status online is the most popular method. In order to do this, go online to the USPTO’s website and navigate to the “Trademarks” tab. Under “Check application status” there is a link to the Trademark Status and Document retrieval system. Use the TSDR to collect the appropriate documents and check the status of your registration.
The TSDR is a web application that lets you access information about your trademark in real time. To use the TSDR, all you need is a U.S. application serial number, a U.S. or International Registration number, or a U.S. Reference Number.
You also may be able to search for your trademark if it is a word mark by using the USPTO search system. From there you can click a link to the TSDR to see all the information maintained there.
When you access documents through the TSDR, you can download and print them. The TSDR also has many links connecting you to other information and resources available through the USPTO, including filing and databases for researching trademarks.
If you find yourself unable to use the online method, you can also check trademark status over the phone. Contact the Trademark Assistance Center at (571) 272-9250 or (800) 786-9199 to ask for a status update.
Learning to check trademark status is important, but how often do you need to check? You don’t have to check your trademark’s status every day or even every month, but you should check regularly.
If you are in the application process, the USPTO recommends checking your trademark’s status every 6 months after filing.
If you already have a registered mark, the USPTO recommends checking your trademark’s status every 6 months after you file any document. Remembering to check trademark status after filing documents like the Declaration of Use or Excusable Nonuse is important because the USPTO might ask for additional information.
You can also check 1 month after filing any document to ensure the USPTO has received and is processing the information. Although the status of these documents will likely still be pending, knowing the USPTO received the information will give you peace of mind.
Keeping up with your application and registration at least twice a year is a good way to stay on top of your trademark’s status.
Checking your trademark’s status is important because it helps you protect your business. Being up to date on all the right documents and information is a part of being in control of your business and your brand.
If the USPTO asks you to give additional information or supply missing documents, you need to do so in a timely manner. Waiting too long or allowing a deadline to pass could result in an abandoned or dead trademark. The key is to check trademark status often and thoroughly so that you never miss a request from the USPTO.
Running a business is a lot of work, and sometimes details slip through the cracks. Don’t let checking your trademark’s status be a box on your to-do list that you can’t check off. By setting a reminder in your calendar or on your phone to remember to check trademark status, you will eliminate the possibility of forgetting.
The USPTO won’t send you reminders for maintenance deadlines, application renewal deadlines, and other time sensitive matters, so it’s important you stay on top of these deadlines yourself.
Most people hire a trademark attorney (like me!), to perform a trademark monitoring service for them.
If you check the status of your trademark and something comes up missing or wrong, contact an attorney for additional assistance.
For issues of Declaration of Use or Excusable Nonuse, consult the Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS) for the correct documents. Make sure you know your registration number to access information through the TEAS.
An abandoned trademark, also known as a dead trademark, has a lapsed registration with the USPTO. If your trademark lapses, you might face difficulty. There is a grace period for a lapsed trademark registration, but if that lapses, too, you will have to file a new application. Also, if you abandon your trademark a third party might try to use it.
If you have any questions about the status of your application, registration, or an action the USPTO asked for, don’t hesitate to consult an attorney.
Check your trademark’s status at least once a year to confirm and safeguard the protection of your brand. Set reminders to avoid missing any important dates, and be sure to utilize the resources the USPTO offers.
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After graduating from law school and passing the bar, I struggled to find work, pay my bills, and make ends meet. That's when I decided to take control of my future and start working for myself. Now, several years and a handful of companies later, I'm sharing how I launched a successful business, and how you can do it too.