Top of Notices Top of Notices   (510)  December 25, 2012 US PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE Print This Notice 1385 CNOG  3786 

Trademark Publications 2011 Referenced Items (505, 506, 507, 508, 509, 510, 511)
(510)                        DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE
                   United States Patent and Trademark Office
                        Docket No. PTO- PTO-T-2010-0090

                    Coding of Design Marks in Registrations

AGENCY: United States Patent and Trademark Office, Commerce.

ACTION: Notice.

SUMMARY: The United States Patent and Trademark Office ("USPTO") is
discontinuing the practice of coding newly registered trademarks that include
a design element with design mark codes based on the old paper search
designations. The USPTO will continue to code all pending applications that
contain a design element using a numerical design code system modeled after
the International Classification of the Figurative Elements of Marks ("USPTO
Design Classification").

DATES: Effective immediately.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Cynthia C. Lynch, Office of the Deputy
Commissioner for Trademark Examination Policy, by telephone at (571) 272-



   Pursuant to 35 U.S.C. 41(i)(1)-(2), the USPTO maintains a publicly
available searchable collection of all United States trademark registrations
in electronic form.

   On December 28, 2010, the USPTO published a notice and request for
comments at 75 FR 81587, proposing to discontinue a secondary system of
coding designs contained in registered marks. The USPTO received only one
comment, from an organization supporting the proposed discontinuation and
encouraging the USPTO to use the cost savings to develop and support
electronic initiatives. This comment is posted on the Office's Web site at and is addressed

   The proposed discontinuation of the secondary system, the Trademark Search
Facility Classification Code Index ("TC Index"), stems from its inferiority
to the primary system of design coding, which is much more specific, precise
and robust, the infrequent use of the TC Index codes in searches by the
public, and its costliness to maintain, especially in proportion to the low
usage of the system. The assignment of TC Index codes to active U. S.
trademark registrations in the searchable electronic database costs
approximately $531,000 per fiscal year for staffing, systems maintenance, and
support costs.

Changes: USPTO Discontinuing TC Index Coding

   In view of the lack of any public comments opposing the discontinuation
and the public comment supporting it, the USPTO has discontinued the practice
of design coding newly registered trademarks with TC Index codes. Terminating
the dual design-coding system will result in cost savings and will free the
USPTO staff to perform more valuable services for the public.

   All existing registrations coded with paper search designations will
remain available in the Trademark Electronic Search System ("TESS") and on
microfilm. The USPTO has updated TESS Help to reflect that searching by the
TC Index code will only retrieve registrations coded from August 28, 2007
through January 31, 2011. The USPTO strongly advises all users to rely solely
on the primary system, Design Search Code ("DC") field, in TESS when
Top of Notices Top of Notices   (510)  December 25, 2012 US PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE 1385 CNOG  3787 

performing searches for pending applications and active registrations for
marks that include a design element. The USPTO will continue to code all
pending applications that contain a design element with the USPTO Design
Classification shown in the DC field. Examining attorneys will continue to
rely solely on the USPTO Design Classification for examining and approving
applications for marks with design codes for Federal registration.

   Comment: The commenter supports the USPTO's decision to discontinue the
TC Index and encourages the USPTO to redirect the resulting cost savings to
assist users in electronic environments such as the Trademark Next Generation

   Response: Eliminating the TC Index coding will allow the USPTO to devote
more of its limited resources to the maintenance and improvement of the USPTO
Design Classification system, which provides the public with more precise
search parameters than are possible with the TC Index codes. It will also
allow the USPTO to devote more resources to enhancing electronic
communications through the Trademarks Next Generation information technology
initiative. In connection with this initiative, the USPTO is currently
reviewing suggestions for improvements to the electronic systems and will
begin implementing many of them in the coming months.

   The USPTO invests heavily in its publicly available electronic search
systems to ensure their maintenance and commits considerable resources to
enhancing and improving electronic search capabilities. The USPTO is
dedicated to ensuring the quality and accuracy of design coding under the
USPTO Design Classification system. The USPTO Design Classification codes
will continue to be subject to internal quality review and external review by
applicants, registrants and the public, which further ensures correct design

   Accordingly, the USPTO hereby gives notice that the USPTO has discontinued
coding design marks with paper search designations.

February 24, 2011                                           DAVID J. KAPPOS
                  Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and
                  Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office

                                   [1364 TMOG]