What to do if your application is suspended in an investigation

Trademark applications can sometimes be impacted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office's (USPTO) administrative orders process. If so, they are placed in a suspended status in the Trademark Status and Document Retrieval (TSDR) system during an investigation. Also, you can use the Trademark Decisions and Proceedings search tool to see if your application has been impacted by an attorney or entity that has received an administrative order.  

If you received a notice of suspension, a notice of show cause order, or a notice for an order for sanctions, you may be the victim of a trademark scam. A notice of suspension or orders indicate that your application is being investigated or is subject to sanctions for violating USPTO rules. If you received a notice, we recommend you do the following right away:

  1. Review the order or suspension notice in the TSDR system to confirm that the trademark filing firm you used and your application serial number appear in the order or notice.
    1. The notice or order will be in a Note to the File.
    2. Filing firms are listed in the body of the notice or order.
    3. Serial numbers are listed in an exhibit to the notice or order.
  2. If neither is in the notice or order, we may have made a mistake. Contact the Trademark Assistance Center (TAC).

If your application is impacted by a suspension notice

  1. Monitor the application involved in the notice regularly in the TSDR system to check for status changes. If your email address isn’t listed as the correspondence email address in TSDR:
    1. You won’t receive notifications of any changes or if documents were added.
    2. You can’t change the correspondence email address because submissions are blocked during the administrative orders process.
  2. If you need help navigating or understanding the TSDR system, contact the Trademark Assistance Center (TAC).

If your application is impacted by a show cause order or order for sanctions

  1. Read the order to find out what sanctions the USPTO has proposed against the filing firm that scammed you. These sanctions impact you. For example, if the order is for termination, your application is invalid and cannot move forward. It will be terminated and cannot be revived.
  2. Consider filing a new application by yourself or with a U.S.-licensed trademark attorney. The new application will receive a new serial number and filing date.
    1. If you want help understanding the application process, contact the Trademark Assistance Center (TAC) or view the trademark basics webpages.
    2. If you're filing by yourself (see if you’re required to have a U.S.-licensed trademark attorney), make sure you provide your email address so that we have it in our records and can correspond directly with you if we need to.
    3. If you use an attorney, the attorney’s email will be the correspondence email address in our records. We’ll only communicate with the attorney. However, provide your email address too. That way, if your attorney withdraws or is sanctioned, we can reach you directly regarding your application.
    4. New applications filed in response to one of these situations can’t be expedited, even if you file a Petition to Make Special.
  3. You may file a Petition to Director form if it’s clear that the USPTO made a mistake in including your application in the show cause order or the order for sanctions. A petition merely requesting reconsideration of the suspension or sanction likely will be denied.

Read what to do if you're scammed for additional steps to consider.