Unauthorized changes have been made to a number of active trademark applications and registrations. These changes may be part of a scheme to register the marks of others on third-party “brand registries.” Unauthorized parties have filed forms through our Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS) to make these changes. Although these instances affect a small percentage of total applications and registrations, we want to make sure our customers are aware of the problem as we work to resolve it.
You may receive an email message from the USPTO notifying you of a requested change to your application or registration. For example, when we receive a request to change the primary email correspondence address of record, we may send this email alert to the prior primary email correspondence address to alert the applicant, registrant, or attorney of the change.
Please note that this automated email message alert is generated immediately after the electronic form requesting to change the primary correspondence email address is submitted. However, it may take up to 72 hours after we receive the request before the change is actually processed or the filing becomes available for viewing through the Trademark Status and Document Retrieval (TSDR) system.
If you received an email alert message and were not expecting it, you should take the following steps:
- Confirm the change was not authorized. Review the new primary email address in the message to determine if you recognize it. If the address belongs to somebody else within your organization or belongs to a law firm with which you have a current or past relationship, it is possible the change was unexpected but still authorized.
- If you have recently hired an attorney, revoked an attorney, or changed attorneys, a change of correspondence alert will usually result when we are notified of the change.
- If the change was unexpected, but you recognize the party who requested the change, please consider whether communication with the other party will resolve the issue before reporting it to us.
- If the change still appears to be unauthorized, report it to us by forwarding the original “alert” email message to TEAS@uspto.gov with the following information:
- Your name and your direct telephone number
- The application serial number(s) and/or registration number(s) affected by the allegedly unauthorized change
- The date and time of the alert message
- A brief explanation of your relationship to the named applicant or registrant of record
- Any other information you believe may be pertinent to your particular situation.
- Once you contact us, we will likely advise you to file one or more of the following:
- Change of Correspondence Address, Revocation
- Appointment and/or Change of Correspondence Address of Attorney/Domestic Representative
- Request for Withdrawal as Attorney (after Power of Attorney Ends)
- Other TEAS correspondence form as may be appropriate under the circumstances.
For all customers: Consider creating a MyUSPTO account and a trademark docket
For an additional level of notification, the MyUSPTO trademark dockets may be configured to send additional alerts to a designated email address any time the status of an application or registration changes or there is a change to certain prosecution history entries, such as change of owner, correspondence, attorney, or domestic representative. This alert system is separate from, and in addition to, the automated alert messages sent from TEAS@uspto.gov after a change of correspondence is requested.
Keep in mind, some unexpected changes to correspondence information are made in good faith. As noted above, some alerts are the result of a change in representation, including an attorney changing law firms, a law firm reorganizing its docketing email system, or the hiring of a new attorney. Other changes could be accidental (such as typographical errors in serial numbers). If you own a registration that you believe may have been impacted by an unauthorized change of correspondence filing, please report it to us at TEAS@uspto.gov and consider contacting any third-party brand registry with which you, your company, or your client may have an ongoing relationship.