Section 1(b) timeline

Application based on intent to use your trademark in commerce

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1. Application filed
About
3 months
line

OR

OR

This timeline does not cover every scenario. If you are well outside the timeframes, call your assigned examining attorney at the phone number on the office action, or contact the Trademark Assistance Center (TAC) at 571-272-9250 (press 0), toll-free at 1-800-786-9199 (select option 1), or email TrademarkAssistanceCenter@uspto.gov.

Step 1. Application filed. You file an application based on your bona fide intention to use your trademark in commerce. Your application is given a USPTO serial number. You can check the status of your application by entering the serial number in the TSDR database or calling the trademark status line at 571-272-5400, or toll-free at 1-800-786-9199 (select option 1, then option 2). In about three months go to step 2.

Step 2. USPTO reviews application. If your application meets the filing requirements, it’s assigned to an examining attorney, who reviews it to determine whether federal law permits registration of your trademark. Filing fees are generally not refunded, even if your application is later refused registration. In about one month go to step 3a or step 3b.

Step 3a. USPTO approves trademark and publishes it for opposition. If the examining attorney does not find grounds for refusing to register your trademark, and your application satisfies all legal requirements, your trademark will be approved for publication in the USPTO’s Trademark Official Gazette (TMOG). The TMOG, a weekly online publication, gives advance notice to the public that the USPTO plans to register your trademark. Approximately one month after approval, your trademark will publish in the TMOG.

Within 30 days of the publishing date, anyone who believes his or her business will be harmed if we register your trademark may file an objection (or “opposition”). An opposition is similar to a federal court proceeding, but is held before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB), a panel of administrative judges who review and decide these matters. An opposition can extend the time between publication of your trademark in the TMOG and registration of your trademark. If someone files an opposition against your trademark, we will let you know. You may want to hire an attorney, as oppositions are complex proceedings. No further action is taken to register your trademark until the 30-day opposition period has expired and any oppositions are resolved. In about three months go to step 8.

Step 3b. USPTO issues letter (office action). If the examining attorney finds grounds for refusing to register your trademark, or if your application does not satisfy all legal requirements, the examining attorney issues a letter (office action) explaining those refusals and/or requirements. You must respond to the office action within six months of the date it was issued. Within six months go to step 4a or step 4b.

Step 4a. You submit a timely and complete response to the office action. To avoid abandonment of your application, you must timely submit a response that overcomes each refusal and/or satisfies each requirement in the office action. The examining attorney will review your response. For information on how to respond to an office action, see our webpage on responding to office actions, and our video, “Response to Office Action.” In about one to two months go to step 5a or step 5b.

Step 4b. You do not respond and your application abandons. If you don’t respond within six months of the date the office action was issued, your application is abandoned. After the six months, we send you a Notice of Abandonment. We can no longer process your application and your trademark will not register. In this situation, filing fees are not refunded. To restart the processing of your application, you must file a petition to revive the application within two months of the date the Notice of Abandonment issued. You must also submit the petition fee. If the petition is filed later than two months after the abandonment date, the petition will be denied as untimely and your only option is to file a new application with new fees. For information on filing a petition to revive your application, see our petition to revive information sheet and our video, “Petitions.”

Step 5a. USPTO approves trademark and publishes it for opposition. If the examining attorney does not find grounds for refusing to register your trademark, and your application meets all legal requirements, your trademark will be approved for publication in the USPTO’s Trademark Official Gazette (TMOG). The TMOG, a weekly online publication, gives advance notice to the public that we will be registering your trademark. Approximately one month after approval, your trademark will publish in the TMOG.

Within 30 days of the publishing date, anyone who believes his or her business will be harmed if we register your trademark may file an objection (or “opposition”). An opposition is similar to a federal court proceeding, but is held before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB), a panel of administrative judges who review and decide these matters. An opposition can extend the time between publication of your trademark in the TMOG and registration of your trademark. If someone files an opposition against your trademark, we will let you know. You may want to hire an attorney, as oppositions are complex proceedings. No further action is taken to register your trademark until the 30-day opposition period has expired and any oppositions are resolved. In about three months go to step 8.

Step 5b. USPTO issues final letter (office action). If your response does not overcome all refusals and/or satisfy all requirements, the examining attorney will issue a “final” refusal letter (final office action) that makes final any remaining refusals and/or requirements. You may appeal the examining attorney’s decision by filing an appeal with the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB). You may also submit a response to the final letter that overcomes the remaining refusals and satisfies the remaining requirements. And in limited circumstances you may file a petition to the Director. For more information on appeals, visit the TTAB webpage and see our video, “TTAB.” Within six months go to step 6a or step 6b.

Step 6a. You file an appeal and/or submit a timely and complete response to final letter. To avoid abandoning your application, you must timely file a Notice of Appeal to the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB). You may also submit a response to the final letter (office action) to the examining attorney, who will review it to see if it overcomes all final refusals and/or satisfies all final requirements. If not, and you did not file a Notice of Appeal, your application will be abandoned and your trademark will not register. In this situation, filing fees are not refunded. For information on how to respond to an office action, see our webpage on responding to office actions, and our video, “Response to Office Action.” In about one to two months go to step 7a or step 7b.

Step 6b. You do not file an appeal or fix remaining issues and your application abandons. If you don’t file an appeal or otherwise fix all the remaining issues within six months of the date the office action was issued, your application is abandoned. After the six months, we send you a Notice of Abandonment. We can no longer process your application and your trademark will not register. In this situation, filing fees are not refunded. To restart the processing of your application, you must file a petition to revive the application within two months of the date the Notice of Abandonment issued. You must also submit the petition fee. If the petition is filed later than two months after the abandonment date, the petition will be denied as untimely and your only option is to file a new application with new fees. For information on filing a petition to revive your application, see our petition to revive information sheet and our video, “Petitions.”

Step 7a. USPTO approves trademark and publishes it for opposition. If the examining attorney does not find grounds for refusing to register your trademark, and your application satisfies all legal requirements, your trademark will be approved for publication in the USPTO’s Trademark Official Gazette (TMOG). The TMOG, a weekly online publication, gives advance notice to the public that the USPTO plans to register your trademark. Approximately one month after approval, your trademark will publish in the TMOG.

Within 30 days of the publishing date, anyone who believes his or her business will be harmed if we register your trademark may file an objection (or “opposition”). An opposition is similar to a federal court proceeding, but is held before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB), a panel of administrative judges who review and decide these matters. An opposition can extend the time between publication of your trademark in the TMOG and registration of your trademark. If someone files an opposition against your trademark, we will let you know. You may want to hire an attorney, as oppositions are complex proceedings. No further action is taken to register your trademark until the 30-day opposition period has expired and any oppositions are resolved. In about three months go to step 8.

Step 7b. TTAB processes your appeal. If your response does not overcome all final refusals and/or satisfy all final requirements and you filed a Notice of Appeal with the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB), the appeal will be processed and instituted by the TTAB. For more information on appeals, visit the TTAB webpage and see our video “TTAB.”

Step 8. USPTO issues Notice of Allowance (NOA). We issue a NOA (pronounced “noah”) within two months after the trademark publishes in the Trademark Official Gazette. A NOA is not a registration, but means that your trademark made it through the 30-day opposition period and will be allowed to register after you timely file an acceptable Statement of Use (SOU). The deadline to file an SOU or request for extension of time to file an SOU (extension request) is calculated from the date the NOA issued. If you don’t file an SOU or extension request within six months of the NOA date, your application will abandon. Within six months go to step 9a or step 9b or step 9c.

Step 9a. You file extension request(s). If you are not yet using the trademark in commerce on all the goods and/or services listed in the NOA, you must timely file an extension request and pay the required fees to avoid your application abandoning. Because each granted extension request lasts only six months, you must continue to file extension requests every six months, during an unexpired extension period. You can file a total of five extension requests. You must file the first request within six months of the NOA date and you must file all subsequent requests before the expiration of a previously granted extension. Within 30 months of the date of the first extension request, you must go to step 10.

Step 9b. You timely file Statement of Use (SOU). If you are using the trademark in commerce on all of the goods and/or services listed in the NOA, you must submit an SOU and the required fees within six months of the NOA date to avoid abandonment. You cannot withdraw the SOU, but you can file one extension request with or after the SOU to get more time to address any deficiencies in the SOU. For information on when to submit the SOU, and what you need to provide with it, see our video, “Statement of Use.” In about one to two months go to step 11.

Step 9c. You do not timely file SOU or extension request and your application abandons. If you don’t file an SOU or extension request within six months of the NOA date, we send you a Notice of Abandonment. We can no longer process your application and your trademark will not register. In this situation, filing fees are not refunded. To restart the processing of your application, you must file a petition to revive the application within two months of the date the Notice of Abandonment issued. You must also submit the petition fee. If the petition is filed later than two months after the abandonment date, the petition will be denied as untimely and your only option is to file a new application with new fees. For information on filing a petition to revive your application, see our see our petition to revive information sheet and our video, “Petitions.”

Step 10. You timely file SOU after requesting extensions. If you are using the trademark in commerce on all the goods and/or services listed in the NOA, you must submit an SOU and the required fees within six months of the previous granted extension to avoid abandonment. You cannot withdraw the SOU, but you can file one extension request with or after the SOU to get more time to address any deficiencies in the SOU (usually specimen issues). Get a list of SOU minimum filing requirements. Go to step 11.

Step 11. USPTO reviews SOU. If your SOU meets the minimum filing requirements, the SOU is forwarded to an examining attorney, who determines whether federal law permits registration. You cannot withdraw the SOU and the filing fees will not be refunded, even if the application is later refused registration on legal grounds. In about one month go to step 12a or step 12b.

Step 12a. USPTO approves SOU and registers your trademark. If the examining attorney does not find grounds for refusal, and your application meets all legal requirements, your SOU will be approved. Within about two months after the SOU is approved, we register your trademark. You must periodically file maintenance documents and fees within specific time frames to keep the registration active. For information on keeping your registration active, as well as the optional Section 15 filing to enhance the legal strength of your registration, see our video, “Post-Registration Issues.” Between five to six years go to step 13 and every 10 years go to step 14.

Step 12b. USPTO issues letter (office action). If the examining attorney finds grounds for refusing to register your trademark, or if your application does not satisfy all legal requirements, the examining attorney issues a letter (office action) explaining those refusals and/or requirements. You must respond to the office action within six months of the date it was issued. This is the same process that occurs before the trademark is published if the examining attorney determines that legal requirements must be met (see step 3b). The process and timeframes remain the same, except that if you successfully address the issues with your SOU and it is approved, we issue a registration within about two months. If not all issues are successfully addressed, the application will abandon.

Step 13. You file a Section 8 declaration. Before the end of the first six-year period after the registration date, or within six months of the expiration of the sixth year with an additional fee, you must file a Declaration of Use or Excusable Nonuse under Section 8 and pay applicable fees. This declaration must include a verified statement that your trademark is in use in commerce, along with evidence showing that use. If you don’t file this declaration, your registration will be canceled.

Step 14. You file a Section 8 declaration and Section 9 renewal. Within one year before the end of every 10-year period after the registration date, or within six months of the end of the 10-year period, you must file a Combined Declaration of Use or Excusable Nonuse/Application for Renewal under Sections 8 and 9 and pay applicable fees. This declaration generally must include a verified statement that your trademark is in use in commerce, along with evidence showing that use, and the renewal is a statement requesting that the USPTO renew your registration. If you don’t file this combined declaration, your registration will be canceled and expire.