Trademark assignments: Transferring ownership or changing your name

Trademark owners may need to transfer ownership or change the name on their application or registration. This could happen while your trademark application is being examined or after your trademark has registered. Here are examples of common reasons:

  • I’ve sold my business and need to transfer ownership of the trademark.
  • I got married just after I filed my application and my last name changed. 

This transfer of ownership is called an assignment. There are fees associated with assignment changes. Locate the Trademark Services Fee Code “8521” on the current fee schedule to find the fee.

To correct minor errors, see correcting the owner name in Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS) forms. These corrections aren’t considered assignments.

Limitations based on filing basis

For Intent-to-Use applicants, if you’re transferring ownership to a business successor for the goods or services for which your mark relates, you can file your assignment at any time. In all other cases, you must wait until after you  file an Amendment to Allege Use before you file your assignment. See TMEP section 501.01(a)

If you're filing through the Madrid Protocol, follow the guidance using the Madrid Protocol to change name or ownership. 

How to update ownership information

To transfer ownership or update your information to reflect a legal name change:

  1. Use Electronic Trademark Assignment System (ETAS) to request the change.
  2. If you're filing a TEAS form within the next week, you may need to manually update the owner information on the TEAS form. If your TEAS form doesn't reflect your requested change:

a. Check the box under the owner name to change the owner name. 

b. Explain why you are change the owner name in the Miscellaneous Statement field.

c. Enter the new name in the name field.

If you're not filing a TEAS form within the next week, check the status of your assignment change to verify that your information has been updated. 

You'll receive a confirmation receipt: In approximately seven days you'll receive the official Notice of Recordation/Non-Recordation. If you haven’t received this notice, please contact the Assignment Recordation Branch

How we review: Before the document is recorded, we carefully review the information you fill out on the ETAS form for accuracy with the information in the document transferring ownership. If we find an error or discrepancy, we may contact you to correct it before we record your filing. 

If you’ve made an error in the ETAS form: Immediately call the Assignment Recordation Branch to request possible suspension of the recordation. The recordation may be suspended for two days. You’ll be instructed to email the specialist you speak with requesting the cancellation and that a refund be issued. However, if the assignment has already been recorded, your request will be denied. You must then follow the procedures outlined in the Trademark Manual of Examining Procedure (TMEP) Section 503.06 to make any corrections to the assignment.

Making assignment changes by filing on paper

Use the Recordation Form Cover Sheet to transfer ownership or change the name using a paper submission. Mail to:

 Mail Stop Assignment Recordation Branch
 Director of the US Patent and Trademark Office
 PO Box 1450
 Alexandria, VA 22313-1450

Generally, paper filed assignments are recorded within 20 days of filing. Filing electronically is recommended and will result in faster processing times and fewer errors.

Checking the status of your assignment change

After you receive your Notice of Recordation, wait one week to check the Trademark Status and Document Retrieval (TSDR) to verify the owner information has been updated. Follow these instructions to check TSDR:

1.    Go to TSDR.
2.    Enter the serial number or registration number.
3.    Select the Status button.
4.    Scroll down to the current Owner(s) Information. 
5.    Check to see that owner information is updated correctly.
If the owner information hasn’t yet updated, go to the Prosecution History to see the status. It may take up to seven days to see an entry in the Prosecution History regarding the assignment. If an entry says "Ownership records not automatically updated," notify us in writing so that the records can be manually updated. The form you use depends on the status of your application:

Updating your correspondence information

Even if your ownership information is automatically updated in the Trademark Status and Document Retrieval (TSDR) system, you must ensure that your correspondence information including any attorney information is also updated. To update your correspondence or any necessary attorney information, please file your request through the TEAS Change of Address or Representation (CAR) form

TMIN News Video 15: Assignments and Ownership Changes

Watch this video to learn about the most common types of ownership changes and how to properly notify us of each type.

More news broadcast-style videos about the federal trademark application process are available on the Trademark Information Network (TMIN) series webpage.

For further information see TMEP §500 and look at the frequently asked questions.