Trademark owners may need to transfer ownership or change the name on their application or registration. This could happen while your trademark application is pending or after your trademark has registered. Use the Electronic Trademark Assignment System (ETAS) to transfer ownership or to request a change in name.
Here are examples of common reasons:
- I’ve sold my business and need to transfer ownership of the trademark.
This is a transfer of ownership called an assignment.
- I got married just after I filed my application and my last name changed.
This is a name change of the owner.
There are fees associated with recording assignments, name changes, and other ownership-type changes with the USPTO. See the Trademark Services Fee Code “8521” on the current fee schedule to find the specific fee amount.
See the correcting the owner name pageto learn if you can correct an error in the owner's name that does not require an assignment.
Limitations based on filing basis
Intent-to-use section 1(b) applications
If you’re transferring ownership to a business successor for the goods or services listed in your identification, you can file your assignment at any time. In all other cases, you must wait until after you file an Amendment to Allege Use or a Statement of Use before you file your assignment. For more information, see the Trademark Manual of Examining Procedure (TMEP) section 501.01(a).
Madrid Protocol section 66(a) U.S. applications and registrations
All ownership changes involving international registrations must be filed with the International Bureau of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). Follow the guidance on the WIPO website about changing ownership or changing an owner’s or holder’s name. See the TMEP section 502.02(b) for more information.
How to update ownership information
Submit a request to transfer ownership or change the name
Use the Electronic Trademark Assignment System (ETAS) to submit your request to transfer ownership or change the owner name for your U.S. application or registration. You will need to fill out a cover sheet with certain information and may also need to upload supporting documents, depending on the type of change. Also, be prepared to pay the Trademark Services Fee Code “8521” on the current fee schedule.
You'll receive a notice of recordation or non-recordation
In about seven days, look for your notice. If you don’t receive one, contact the Assignment Recordation Branch. The Notice of Non-Recordation will explain the reason your request to record was denied. Here are four common reasons:
- A critical piece of information was omitted from the cover sheet.
- The document is illegible or not scannable.
- The information on the cover sheet and the supporting document do not match.
- The assignment was not transferred with the good will of the business.
USPTO trademark database will be automatically updated after recordation
Once recorded, the trademark database should reflect the new owner information or name change. Check the Trademark Status and Document Retrieval (TSDR) system to see if the owner information has been updated. See below for information about what to do if the database isn’t updated.
What to do if the USPTO trademark database isn’t updated
In some cases, the USPTO will not automatically update the trademark database to show the change in ownership or name. This could happen when the execution date conflicts with a previously recorded document or multiple assignments have the same execution date on the same date. For more information, see TMEP section 504.01.
If the trademark database wasn’t updated and your trademark has not published in the Trademark Official Gazette yet, and you need to respond to an outstanding USPTO letter or office action, use the appropriate Response form to request the update of the owner information. If you don’t have a response due, use the Voluntary Amendment form. To do this,
- Answer “yes” to the question at the beginning of the form that asks if you need to change the owner’s name or entity information.
- Enter the new name in the “Owner” field in the “Owner Information” section of the form.
Your request to update the owner information will be reviewed by a USPTO employee and entered, if appropriate. To request the owner information be updated manually when your trademark has already published or registered, use the appropriate form listed in the “Checking the USPTO trademark database for assignment/name change” section below.
If you’ve made an error in the ETAS cover sheet
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 TMEP section 503.06 to make any corrections to the assignment.
We strongly recommend filing these changes online using ETAS. It is possible to request these changes by paper using the Recordation Form Cover Sheet and mailing the cover sheet, any supporting documentation, and fee to:
Mail Stop Assignment Recordation Branch
Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
PO Box 1450
Alexandria, VA 22313-1450
However, paper-filed assignment changes are recorded within 20 days of filing, while electronically filed assignment changes made in ETAS are recorded in a week or less.
Checking the USPTO trademark database for assignment /name change
After you receive a Notice of Recordation, wait one week before checking to see if the owner information has been updated in your application or registration in the trademark database. Follow these instructions:
- Go to TSDR.
- Enter the application serial number or registration number.
- Select the “Status” button.
- Scroll down to the “Current Owner(s) Information” section.
- Check to see that your owner information was updated correctly.
If the owner information hasn’t yet been updated, go to the “Prosecution History” section in TSDR to see the status of the assignment or name change. It can take up to seven days to see an entry in the Prosecution History regarding the assignment. If an entry shows "Ownership records not automatically updated," you will need to submit a TEAS form making the owner or name change manually.
The form you need depends on where your application is in the process.
- If your trademark has not published in the Trademark Official Gazette yet, use the TEAS Response to Examining Attorney Office Action form or the TEAS Voluntary Amendment form. If you are responding to an outstanding USPTO Office action regarding your application or registration, use the TEAS response form.
- If your trademark has published but hasn't registered, use the TEAS Post-Publication Amendment form.
- If your trademark is registered, use the TEAS Section 7 Request form. A fee is required.
Updating your correspondence information
If your ownership information is automatically updated in TSDR, you must ensure your correspondence information, including any attorney information, is also updated. To update your correspondence or attorney information, use the TEAS Change of Address or Representation (CAR) form. This form cannot be used to change the owner name.