What does the USPTO do?


The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) reviews trademark applications for federal registration and determines whether an applicant meets the requirements for federal registration. We do not decide whether you have the right to use a mark (which differs from the right to register). Even without a registration, you may still use any mark adopted to identify the source of your goods and/or services. Once a registration issues, it is up to the owner of a mark to enforce its rights in the mark based on ownership of a federal registration.


USPTO employees will gladly answer questions about the application process. However, USPTO employees cannot:

  • conduct trademark searches for the public;
  • comment on the validity of registered marks;
  • answer questions on whether a particular mark or type of mark is eligible for trademark registration; or
  • offer legal advice or opinions about common law trademark rights, state registrations, or trademark infringement claims.

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