Code of conduct when communicating with us

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) strives to provide exceptional service and organizational excellence in order to serve the public and communicate with each person with respect and professionalism. It is also our expectation that those who communicate with us will extend the same courtesy to USPTO personnel, so we can achieve our goals together.

When you communicate with us, we will:

  • Provide information to help you make informed decisions about applying for and maintaining a patent or trademark registration 
  • Communicate information you need to know, such as wait times for examining new applications, changes to patent or trademark policy and rules, and notices of IT system modifications that impact you 
  • Offer prompt, courteous, and professional assistance 
  • Listen to, accept, and act upon your feedback as appropriate 
  • Provide equitable treatment

Please know the following:

  • Using our web resources to educate yourself on applicable laws, policies, and procedures before you file an application will give you a head start on the process. 
  • Using our resources helps ensure your application will be complete and accurate and that you understand the requirements and possible notices, refusals, and/or rejections. 
  • Our rules require that you communicate with our office staff with courtesy and politeness. If not, you can expect us to take a variety of escalating actions to enforce our rules and protect our staff.

Decorum when communicating with our office

Our staff’s personal security and wellbeing are very important to us. They are trained to identify, document, and report abusive and threatening communications from customers when necessary. Our decorum rules are contained in the following:

We have a set of escalating actions to take when customers violate that rule. We may:

  • Send administrative warning letters 
  • Block phone or email communications 
  • Shut down accounts 
  • Commence sanctions under 37 CFR section 11.18 

If we must commence sanctions, we may: 

  • Disregard an abusive communication and not give it any weight 
  • Prohibit appearing before the USPTO 
  • Terminate proceedings, which may include terminating a pending patent application or trademark application, or canceling a trademark registration 
  • Refuse to accept a patent maintenance fee or a trademark maintenance filing