The United States Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) efforts to modernize its practices and increase the efficiency of examination have started to take shape. As of May 24, 2022, the USPTO is now only issuing electronic trademark registration certificates. This change marks a move in the direction of full electronic processing and registration for trademarks in the United States.
The change to electronic trademark registration certificates is intended to give trademark owners easier and quicker access to their trademark certificates upon registration. According to the USPTO, the electronic trademark registration certificates will allow trademarks to be issued 1-2 weeks sooner than the current paper printed registration certificates. The new electronic certificates will be issued by the USPTO with a digital seal to authenticate the registration, and then emailed to trademark owners and attorneys through all emails of record associated with the trademark.
Consistent with past practice, registration certificates will still be uploaded and accessible through the Trademark Status and Document Retrieval System (TSDR). However, this now means that trademark owners and their counsel will be notified of a registration issuance via an email from the USPTO rather than upon the arrival of a hardcopy registration certificate received via mail. Luckily, paper lovers need not worry. The USPTO will continue to offer printed presentation copies of the registration certificates for a fee. These presentation copies will consist of a single-page paper version of the registration certificate featuring a gold foil seal. Applicants who submitted their applications before May 24, 2022 will receive a complimentary paper copy of their registration certificate.
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