Laws & Regulations

U.S. Trademark Law: Rules of Practice & Federal Statute

The information provided on this webpage and in this document is not the official legal publication of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), United States Code (U.S. Code), and/or Congressional material. This information is a USPTO-created editorial compilation of material maintained by the USPTO for the public’s convenience and is not meant to serve as an official source of primary legal material. As such, the material presented on this webpage and in this document may not be complete or reflect the most current information. Those using this material for legal research should verify their results against the most current official printed edition of the CFR and U.S. Code, published Public Law, and the daily Federal Register, available through the Government Publishing Office at www.gpo.gov or a Federal Depository Library.

Prior compilations of the Trademark rules and statute

All attorneys and agents practicing before the USPTO in trademark or patent matters are subject to the USPTO Rules of Professional Conduct set forth in 37 C.F.R. §§ 11.101 et. seq. and disciplinary jurisdiction under 37 C.F.R. § 11.19(a).  Additionally, unauthorized individuals who represent others before the USPTO are subject to the disciplinary jurisdiction of the USPTO. See 37 C.F.R. § 11.19(a).

Proposed Rules

  • Miscellaneous Changes to Trademark Trial and Appeal Board Rules of Practice, 19325–19352 [2016-06672][TEXT](link is external) [PDF](link is external) (04March2016)
  • Trademark Applications and Renewals; Reduction of Fees, 26664–26669 [2014–10730] [TEXT] [PDF] (09May2014)
  • Changes in Requirements for Collective Trademarks and Service Marks, Collective Membership Marks, and Certification Marks [TEXT] [PDF] (20Feb2014)
  • Miscellaneous Changes to Trademark Rules of Practice and the Rules of Practice in Filings Pursuant to the Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks [2014–01126] [TEXT] [PDF] (23Jan2014)

Recent Final Rules

  • Trademark Fee Adjustment 81123-81124 [2020-27564] [Electronic version] [PDF] (15Dec2020)
  • Trademark Fee Adjustment 73197-73218 [2020-25222] [Electronic version] [PDF] (17Nov2020)
  • International Trademark Classification Changes 69501-69504 [2020-22353] [Electronic version] [PDF]
  • Changes to the Trademark Rules of Practice To Mandate Electronic Filing 69330-69331 [2019-27426][Electronic version][PDF](18Dec2019)
  • Changes to the Trademark Rules of Practice to Mandate Electronic Filing; Correction 68045-68046 [2019-26899][Electronic version][PDF](13Dec2019)
  • International Trademark Classification Changes 65680-65683 [2019-25807][Electronic version][PDF](29Nov2019)
  • Changes to the Trademark Rules of Practice To Mandate Electronic Filing 52363-52364 [2019-21178][Electronic version][PDF](02Oct2019)
  • Changes to the Trademark Rules of Practice To Mandate Electronic Filing 37081-37099 [2019-16259][Electronic version][PDF](31Jul2019)
  • Requirement of U.S. Licensed Attorney for Foreign Trademark Applicants and Registrants 31498-31511 [2019-14087] [Electronic version][PDF] (2Jul2019)
  • International Trademark Classification Changes 62711-62714 [2018-26373] [Electronic version] [PDF] (6Dec2018)
  • Removal of Rules Governing Trademark Interferences 33129-33132 [2018-15163] [Electronic version] [PDF] (17July2018)
  • Changes in Requirements for Collective Trademarks and Service Marks, Collective Membership Marks, and Certification Marks; Correction, 1559 [2018-00428] [Electronic version] [PDF] (12Jan2018)
  • International Trademark Classification Changes, 56887-56890 [2017-25880] [TEXT] [PDF] (01Dec2017]
  • Revival of Abandoned Applications, Reinstatement of Abandoned Applications and Cancelled or Expired Registrations, and Petitions to the Director, 29401-29409 [2017-13519] [Electronic version] [PDF] (29June2017)
  • Affidavits or Declarations of Use, Continued Use, or Excusable Nonuse in Trademark Cases; Delay of Effective Date, 10273 [2017–02796] [TEXT] (link is external) [PDF] (link is external) (10Feb2017)
  • Changes in Requirements for Affidavits or Declarations of Use, Continued Use, or Excusable Nonuse in Trademark Cases, 6259–6265 [2017–00317] [TEXT] (link is external) [PDF] (link is external) (19Jan2017)
  • Miscellaneous Changes to Trademark Trial and Appeal Board Rules of Practice; Correction, 89382–89383 [2016–29728] [TEXT] (link is external) [PDF] (link is external) (12Dec2016)
  • Trademark Fee Adjustment, Correction, 78042–78043 [2016-26684] [TEXT] [PDF] (07Nov2016)
  • International Trademark Classification; Changes, 76867–76870 [2016–26682] [TEXT] (link is external) [PDF] (link is external) (04Nov2016)
  • Trademark Fee Adjustment, 72694–72708 [2016-25506] [TEXT] [PDF] (21Oct2016)
  • Miscellaneous Changes to Trademark Trial and Appeal Board Rules of Practice, 69950–69988 [2016–23092] [TEXT] (link is external) [PDF] (link is external) (07Oct2016)
  • USPTO Law School Clinic Certification Program, 33591–33598 [2016–12498] [TEXT] (link is external) [PDF] (link is external) (27May2016)
  • International Trademark Classification Changes [TEXT] [PDF] (24Dec2015)
  • Trademark Rules of Practice: Rules of Practice for Collective Trademarks and Service Marks, Collective Membership Marks, and Certification Marks [TEXT] [PDF] (11June2015)
  • Trademark Rules of Practice: Rules of Practice in Filings Pursuant to the Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks, 2303–2313 [2015–00267] [TEXT] [PDF] (16Jan2015)
  • Reduction of Fees for Trademark Applications and Renewals, 74633–74639 [2014–29413] [TEXT] [PDF] (16Dec2014)
  • International Trademark Classification Changes [TEXT] [PDF] (09Aug2012)
  • Changes in Requirements for Specimens and for Affidavits or Declarations of Continued Use or Excusable Nonuse in Trademark Cases [TEXT] [PDF] (22May2012)
  • Trademark Technical and Conforming Amendments [TEXT] [PDF] (08Nov2011)

Regulated products and activities

Applications for trademarks used on regulated products (e.g. cannabis, drug paraphernalia, ivory, whalebone) and activities (e.g. gambling and wagering, retail stores featuring controlled substances) are subject to additional review. The USPTO may inquire about your compliance with federal law before issuing a registration. If your goods, services, or trademark violate federal law, we will issue a refusal. 

See TMEP 907 for more information.

Precedential refusals on basis of unlawful use


In re Brown, 119 USPQ2d 1350 (TTAB 2016) (retail store services featuring herbs)

In re PharmaCann LLC, 123 USPQ2d 1122 (TTAB 2017) (retail store services featuring medical marijuana)

In re JJ206, LLC, 120 USPQ2d 1568 (TTAB 2016) (smokeless marijuana or cannabis vaporizer apparatus, namely, oral vaporizers for smokers; vaporizing marijuana or cannabis delivery device, namely, oral vaporizers for smoking purposes)

In re Harley, 119 USPQ2d 1755 (TTAB 2016) (home health care services; refusals under Section 2(e)(2) and on basis of failure to comply with requirement for additional information under Rule 2.61(b))

In re Stanley Brothers Social Enterprises LLC, 2020 USPQ2d 10658 (TTAB 2020) (hemp oil extracts sold as an integral component of dietary and nutritional supplements that feature cannabidiol (CBD) constitute a per se violation of the Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act (FDCA) and do not support lawful use of the mark in commerce)

Non-Precedential refusals on basis of unlawful use


In re Ultra Trimmer, L.L.C., Serial No. 86479070 (November 29, 2016) (Agricultural machines, namely, a trimming machine for trimming leaves, plants, flowers and buds)

In re JJ206, LLC, Serial No.86532274 (November 7, 2016) (“smokeless marijuana or cannabis vaporizer apparatus, namely, oral vaporizers for smokers; vaporizing marijuana or cannabis delivery device, namely, oral vaporizers for smoking purposes”)

In re NL LLC, Serial No. 87864999 (September 25, 2020) (dietary and nutritional supplements infused with cannabidiol (CBD) hemp oil extracts found to be per se unlawful under Sections 321(ff) and 331(ll) of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Act (FDCA) because they comprise food to which a drug (CBD) has been added; substantial clinical investigations of CBD have been instituted, and the existence of these investigations has been made public; and there is no evidence that CBD was marketed in food before the substantial clinical investigations of CBD were instituted)

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