Fastener Quality Act - Amendment of Insignia
- Our insignia has changed slightly and we have requested that our mark be amended. Can our certificate of recordal be updated?
No. An amendment of the mark in a trademark application or registration that forms the basis for a certificate of recordal will result in the Director of the USPTO declaring the recordal inactive. The certificate of recordal shall become inactive as of the date the amendment is filed. You may file a new application for recordal of the new version of the mark on the FQA registry.
Fastener Quality Act - Application
- Once my application is processed, what will I receive?
After recordal of a new application, the owner or the owner's attorney of record, if provided, will receive a Certificate of Recordal depicting the mark, the owner's information, and the date of recordal from which renewals are to be calculated.
After processing a renewal application, the USPTO does not issue a new certificate. Renewals are noted in Office records and appear on the Insignia Registry when it is updated. The Registry is updated quarterly, typically in January, April, July, and October.
After an alpha-numeric designation is reactivated to the original owner, the USPTO will issue a new Certificate of Recordal with the new recordal date from which to calculate renewals. When a new owner files an application for re-activation, the new owner is not issued a new recordal date and only shall remain in active status until the expiration of the five year period that began upon the issuance of the alphanumeric designation to its original owner or to any time remaining in a renewal period granted thereafter. Thus, if a new owner requests reactivation with only a few months remaining until a renewal is due, the new owner must also file a renewal application in the time allowed or in the grace period, with the required late fee.
- What if I wish to send in my FQA application by private courier or delivery service, such as DHL, Federal Express, or UPS?
FQA application forms accompanied by checks or money orders for the required fees may be submitted by private courier or delivery service, though use of such methods is not encouraged. If used, however, submissions must be sent to the Trademark Assistance Center (TAC) at the USPTO's headquarters at the following address:
Trademark Assistance Center
Madison East, Concourse Level Room C 55
600 Dulany Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
Private couriers and delivery services cannot deliver to the US Postal Service mailing address provided on the application instructions.
- Should I fax, mail or courier a paper copy of my FQA application that I have already submitted electronically?
No. Multiple copies of FQA applications could lead to duplicative charges of FQA fees and duplicative recordals. Please choose one method to submit your FQA application - email, fax or delivery by postal service or private courier. If you have any concerns as to whether or not your submission has been received by the USPTO, you may call 571-272-8950 or emailTMFQA@uspto.gov. Do not send another copy with your follow up email.
- The application form says I must file a copy of my prior recordal. I do not have a copy of my prior recordal. How can I get a copy?
Please send requests for copies of recordals to TMFQA@uspto.gov and include either a fax number or an address where a copy may be mailed.
- How do I identify FQA Fees on the Credit Card Payment Form?
FQA fees are Trademark Fees, but they require a "Description of Request" as being an "FQA application fee" or "FQA renewal fee" or "FQA late fee and renewal fee" as appropriate. If the Recordal is based on a U.S. Trademark Application or Registration, the application Serial Number or Registration Number must be included in the appropriate space. In the case of an application for a new recordal of an alpha-numeric designation, the "Description of Request" should indicate "New FQA alpha-numeric designation" or "renewal of recordal [please identify assigned alpha-numeric designation, e.g. 01PZ]". The credit card payment form may be found on the USPTO website at http://www.uspto.gov/forms/2038-fill.pdf.
- How long will it take before I know if my application has been accepted?
The USPTO processes applications for recordal and renewal in the order in which they are received. In the event a submission does not contain all of the required elements, the USPTO will return the entire application, along with a letter explaining the missing elements. No fees are processed for incomplete applications. A new application containing all of the required elements must be submitted. Generally, processing time varies from 7 to 10 working days, with delays possible due to federal holidays.
- How may I send in my FQA application?
FQA application forms are accepted by U.S. mail, by fax, or by email. The instructions on page 2 of the application (found at on the USPTO website at http://www.uspto.gov/trademarks/law/fastener/FastnerApplication.pdf contain all of the submission details.
Forms should only be submitted via one (1) method. Duplicate copies of forms are not to be submitted. If you wish to confirm receipt, please do not send a second copy with your request.
Fastener Quality Act - Basics
- What is the Fastener Quality Act?
The Fastener Quality Act (FQA), Public Law 101-592, was signed by President George H.W. Bush on November 16, 1990. Since its enactment, the FQA has been amended three times (Pub L. 104-113, Pub L. 105-234, and Pub L. 106-34) to further clarify and define the requirements of the original FQA.
The FQA protects the public safety by: (1) requiring that certain fasteners sold in commerce conform to the specifications to which they are represented to be manufactured, (2) providing for accreditation of laboratories engaged in fastener testing, and (3) requiring inspection, testing and certification in accordance with standardized methods.
- Who must submit an application for recordal of an insignia on the Fastener Recordal Registry?
The USPTO does not provide assistance in determining whether or not a manufacturer of fasteners must submit an application.
The following is from the National Institute of Standards and Technology Weights and Measures Division (Phone: 301-975-4019):
Fasteners covered under the FQA are defined as limited to bolts, nuts, screws and studs (having a nominal diameter of 6 millimeters/0.25 inch or greater), or direct tension-indicating washers that are through-hardened (or meet a consensus standard that calls for through-hardening) and manufactured to standards and specifications of consensus standards organizations or government agencies that require a grade mark.
Many fasteners are exempted from coverage including those:
- that are part of an assembly
- that are ordered for use as a spare, substitute, service or replacement part unless that part is in a package containing more than 75 of any such part at the time of sale or that part is contained in an assembly kit
- produced and marked as ASTM A 307 Grade A;
- produced in accordance with the ASTM F 432 standard;
- specifically manufactured for an aircraft if the quality is approved by the Federal Aviation Administration or by a foreign airworthiness authority;
- manufactured in accordance with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 9000, 9001, 9002, or TS16949; Quality system (QS) 9000; or other fastener quality assurance system defined by law; or
- manufactured to a proprietary standard.
To encourage the use of quality management systems such as QS 9000, fasteners are exempt from the FQA if they are manufactured in a facility using such a system.
- What are the necessary FQA fees?
New applications require a US $20 fee. Renewals are also US $20. If the renewal application is submitted within the six months after the fifth anniversary of the recordal, a late surcharge of US $20 is required in addition to the US $20 renewal fee. If a renewal application is not submitted by the end of the six-month grace period, the owner must reapply for the same mark in a "new" application, which must be accompanied by the US $20 application fee.
Fastener Quality Act - Change of Address
- Our recordal is inactive. Do we still need to file an update to our name or change of address?
Yes. The holder must notify the USPTO of name or address changes whether the certificate of recordal is in an active or inactive status.
15 C.F.R. §280.321
Fastener Quality Act - Change of Owner
- Our company was bought by another company and they have acquired all of our trademarks. Do they have to file a new application for recordal of the insignia we already recorded on the FQA registry?
Yes, once the ownership of the trademark on which an FQA recordal is based is assigned, the recordal by the previous owner is considered "inactive." The new owner may file a new application to record the same insignia on the FQA insignia registry in their name.
- I received a letter saying my insignia has been declared inactive because my trademark was assigned to a new owner. Can I reactivate my recordal?
No, certificates of recordal designated inactive due to transfer or assignment of a trademark application or registration cannot be reactivated. An assigned trademark application or registration may form the basis for a new application for recordal on the fastener insignia registry by the new owner.
- Can the Certificate of Recordal be transferred to a new owner?
No. The Certificate of Recordal may not be transferred or assigned, but it may be amended only to show a change of name or change of address.
- Our company changed its name. What must we do to update our recordal?
Requests to update recordals with a change of name and/or change of address may be submitted to the FQA mailing address, or by facsimile to 571-273-8950, or to the TMFQA@uspto.gov email box. Requests regarding any change of address or change of name must be filed no later than six months after the change.
Fastener Quality Act - Renewal/Reactivation
- I received a letter saying my insignia has been declared inactive, but I'm still using my trademark as my fastener insignia. Can I file a new recordal application for the same mark?
Yes, certificates of recordal designated inactive to due to the failure to maintain the recordal shall be deemed active only if the certificate holder files an application for recordal with the prescribed fee and attaches a copy of the expired certificate of recordal. 15 C.F.R. §280.320(e)
- I received a letter saying my insignia has been declared inactive because my trademark was abandoned/cancelled/expired. Can I file a new recordal application for the same mark?
Unless a new trademark application has been filed for the same mark, no. Certificates of recordal designated inactive due to cancellation or expiration of the trademark registration or abandonment of the trademark application on which the recordal is based cannot be activated. Recordals may only be based on a valid registration or pending application.
- Our company transferred the alphanumeric designation issued by the USPTO to another party. Can the new owner reactivate?
Yes, an alphanumeric designation can be transferred or assigned, and reactivated upon application by the assignee. An application must include a copy of the pertinent portion of the document assigning rights in the alphanumeric designation to the new owner. The application must be filed within six months of the date of assignment. 15 C.F.R. §280.323(e)