Today’s post contains two quick tips, and they are both about federal trademarks.
The first tip is that the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) does not babysit trademarks. The USPTO has very recently started sending out trademark maintenance reminders, but the trademark applicant/owner is ultimately responsible for keeping track of deadlines, including maintenance deadlines. Trademark owners should not rely on the USPTO for reminders. Understand the deadlines and maintain a reliable reminder system to avoid late filing fees.
The USPTO website has helpful information about trademark maintenance requirements and various applicable deadlines. You can also speak to an attorney if you don’t understand how to maintain your trademark. Use the USPTO Trademark Status and Document Retrieval (“TSDR”) system to learn the status of a trademark application or registered trademark and to retrieve relevant documents, including correspondence from the USPTO about the application or trademark.
The second tip is that, while the USPTO sends very little correspondence, enterprising businesses access applicant/owner email addresses (which are available to the public on the USPTO website) and send solicitations about extra services they offer in relation to trademarks. This is trademark spam. You may have missed an important deadline! You may have a deadline coming soon! The USPTO may try to contact you! You really need to buy some extra stuff from us! We can help you! While these solicitations can be a little panic-inducing, they are generally not worth the money and have little to do with the actual status of the application or trademark.
The law is always changing. We cannot guarantee that the information provided herein is current and accurate. Every situation is different. Do not refrain from seeking legal advice from a lawyer because of anything contained in this blog. Consult an attorney for individual legal advice regarding your own situation.