1. What is Trademark Status?
2. Why is Trademark Status Important?
3. When You Should Not Use Trademark Status
4. When You Should Use Trademark Status
5. Examples: When Using Trademark Status
6. Examples: Not Using Trademark Status
7. Common Mistakes
8. Frequently Asked Questions

What is Trademark Status?

The Trademark Status check allows applicants and registrants to check the status of their trademarks. The United States Patent and Trademark Office manages this tool. The Trademark Status and Document Retrieval (TSDR) System allows users to view, download, and print relevant information about their application and registration status. It is also a crucial instrument to ensure that companies and trademark attorneys do not miss important filing or registration deadlines.

The USPTO's Trademarks database is a searchable website, displaying the full text of related documents. The TSDR 1.0 version launched in 2011 and later updated to version 2.0. It now also has a downloadable application. The system is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Why is Trademark Status Important?

Conducting a search on USPTO's TSDR (Trademark Status and Document Retrieval system) is important because this is how you check the status of an existing application. The records should be regularly checked during the pendency of an application, which lasts for at least six months. The system provides updated statuses and documents, so the applicant can make sure that any issues with the legal process are addressed on time and that deadlines aren't missed.

In some cases, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office does not notify the trademark owner or applicant that their protection or application is about to expire, so having access to this database is essential.

It is the applicant's duty to monitor the status of the application according to the §9 of the Trademark Act. If deadlines get by, the application is abandoned, and the application process has to start over.

When You Should Not Use Trademark Status

When the application for the trademark is complete and accepted, a different system takes over, and the records of USPTO's TSDR are irrelevant. Further, if the applicant decides to abandon the application there is no need to monitor the progress further unless you just want to make sure that the case closes out.

After using a trademark for at least five years, the status can be changed to incontestable. This means that no legal challenges can be filed against the company for using the mark, so there is no need to check the trademark status further.

When a status of "Notice of Acceptance" appears on the system, that means the trademark application has been accepted and the registration is almost complete. Therefore, monitoring is no longer necessary.

When You Should Use Trademark Status

When the search results show "Record Initialized Not Assigned to Examiner", the company or trademark attorney should carry on monitoring the progress. Keeping an eye on the trademark status is important to make sure that all steps are complete so the process doesn't take longer than necessary.

When the status of the application states "Notice of Acceptance of Statement of Use," the trademark status still needs monitoring until the final decision comes through. From this point, the registration process takes about 4-6 weeks, and then the trademark application is complete.

Trademark status needs to be through for the entire process from submission of the application through the status of "Notice of Allowance" (NOA) until the registration is complete and the certificate is issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

When applicants file a Section 15 Declaration form, the trademark status also has to be monitored to see if this is accepted and granted extra protection.

Examples: When Using Trademark Status

The current Trademark Applications and Registrations Retrieval System (TARR) and Trademark Document Retrieval System (TDR) provide information for trademark applicants on the status of their application or registration. It helps companies and trademark attorneys retrieve important information and documents.

Users can click on documents and download them. This tool is useful when companies have to prove that they submitted an application, or have an ongoing trademark infringement case. Users can navigate between content and status.

The document tab shows all files and provides dates. file names, and document types. You can search for serial numbers, and retrieve various types of information, such as

  • Current owner
  • Attorney correspondence
  • Basic information
  • Mark information
  • Prosecution history
  • Goods and services

Keeping a copy of the documents for the company's records is necessary to make sure that deadlines are met and no legal challenges filed. Visit Upcounsel trademark professionals for more information on trademark status checks.

Examples: Not Using Trademark Status

Not using Trademark Status Search can cost companies money. If deadlines get by, the pending application can move to an "abandoned" status, and you have to start the entire process again. When companies do not check the application regularly, they fail to file necessary documents. This results in the cancellation of the process by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Postal addresses might change, and notification emails might end up in the Spam folder. Therefore, it is the duty of the applicant or trademark attorney to check for filing deadlines and document requests.

There are some basic document requirements related to filing a trademark application. However, once the process is complete and the Registration Certificate is issued, alternative databases are used to check the trademark status and the documents. Once the trademark gets incontestable right approval, it is likely that no more documents are needed to prevent legal challenges or losing the rights to the mark.

Common Mistakes

One of the main mistakes trademark applicants make is that they assume that once they send in the application, the rest is done for them. The trademark registration process is a complicated legal procedure, and checking the status is necessary to speed up the process and reduce the risk of the application getting canceled.

Missed deadlines have serious consequences. In the worst case, it results in the withdrawal of the application. In other cases, it keeps the registration in a pending case for longer than necessary or allows other users to register the same trademark before the company can complete the process.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What does the Notice of Acceptance of Statement of Use mean?

This certificate is issued when the trademark is registered by the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

  • What is a Section 15 Declaration form?

It is an additional form submitted by the trademark owner after using the mark for more than five years to apply for a status of incontestable mark.

  • What does "ITU Unit Action" mean?

It is the Intent to Use Application, submitted initially by the applicant. The United States Patent and Trademark Office makes its decisions based on the documents submitted.

  • What does the "Statement of Use" mean?

It is a legal challenge document issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office, notifying the company about an applicant filing against the use of the mark.

Not consulting an attorney for checking the trademark status is another mistake. If wrong or inappropriate documents are filed the company faces delays or even the refusal of the application, and the process has to start over from the beginning. Post your legal need to get in touch with a trademark status lawyer to get more advice.