(304) Facsimile Submission of Assignment Documents
is Now Available to PTO Customers
The Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) is now accepting facsimile (fax)
transmissions to record an assignment or other documents affecting
title. This process allows customers to submit their documents directly
into the automated Patent and Trademark Assignment System and receive
the resulting recordation notice at their fax machine.
Here is additional information about the new service:
What is the fax number for the Patent and Trademark Assignment System?
The system's fax number is (703) 306-5995.
What are the benefits of fax submission?
For both the submitter and the PTO, fax transmission significantly
reduces the time and costs associated with preparing, processing, and
mailing assignment documents in paper. Automatic confirmation of fax
transmission and receipt in the Office eliminates the need to make
follow-up calls inquiring about the status or location of documents.
Because receipt is not dependent on the US Postal Service or overnight
delivery services, the receipt and recordation date is more certain.
What assignment-related documents and transactions may be submitted via
Any document with: (1) an identified application, patent, or trademark
registration number; (2) one cover sheet to record a single type of
transaction; and (3) the fee paid by a PTO Deposit Account.
What documents or transactions cannot be submitted via fax?
1. Assignments submitted concurrent with newly filed patent
applications. These must continue to be sent to the Office of Initial
Patent Examination with the application.
2. Documents submitted in accordance with the Trademark Law Treaty where
an application or registration number is not identified.
3. Documents with two or more cover sheets; e.g., a single document with
one cover sheet to record an assignment, and a second cover sheet to
record separately a license relating to the same property.
4. Requests for corrections to documents recorded previously.
5. Requests for "at cost" recordation services.
6. Documents with payment by credit card.
If I fax an assignment document, do I still need to have a cover sheet?
Yes. The requirements for recordation outlined in 37 CFR Part 3 remain
unchanged. An accurate and complete cover sheet is the key to the
recordation process because it is the source of the bibliographic data
the Assignment Division enters into PTO records.
When can I fax an assignment document to the PTO?
Fax service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The date of
receipt accorded to an assignment document sent to the PTO by facsimile
transmission is the date the complete transmission is received by the
Patent and Trademark Assignment System. If the transmission is completed
after 12:00 midnight Eastern Time, the receipt date accorded will be the
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next business day. If a document is received over the weekend or on a
Federal holiday, the receipt date will be the next business day. The
benefits of a certificate of transmission under 37 CFR 1.8 are available
to the customer.
What equipment do I need?
No specific make or model of fax machine is needed. However, the
customer's fax machine must be connected to a dedicated telephone line
because recordation notices will be returned automatically to the
sending fax number through the Office's automated Patent and Trademark
Assignment System. Fax machines associated with PBX lines or on shared
lines are not acceptable because a person will answer the line, thus
causing delivery to fail.
Even if I have a fax machine on a dedicated line, what happens if the
PTO is unable to fax back the recordation notice to me?
Our system will attempt to send the recordation notice for 24 hours. If
the system is unable to complete the transmission, the notice will be
printed and returned by US Postal Service first class mail.
Is there any difference between the fax version of the recordation
notice and the notices now being returned by mail?
Everything is the same except that the bar code label on all faxed
notices will start with the number "7".
Will the assignment document I faxed to the PTO be returned with the
Recorded documents will not be returned with the "Notice of
Recordation." Since 1995 all recorded documents submitted by customers
have not been stamped or otherwise identified as recorded. Our automated
system assigns the reel and frame numbers and superimposes recordation
stampings on the electronic images we process and store. Once a document
has been scanned into the automated system, it has served its purpose.
That's one of the reasons the PTO has preferred to receive copies rather
than original documents.
What happens if it is determined that the document cannot be recorded as
If a document is determined not to be recordable, the entire document,
with its associated cover sheet, and the PTO "Notice of
Non-Recordation." will be transmitted via fax back to the customer. Once
corrections are made, the initial submission, as amended, may then be
resubmitted by fax. Timely resubmission will provide customers with the
benefit of the initial receipt date as the PTO recordation date in
accordance with 37 CFR 3.51.
What if I need to have a copy of a recorded document showing the
Nothing changes here. Copies of all recorded documents, either certified
or uncertified, are available upon payment of the appropriate fee from
the Document Services Division, Office of Public Records. These copies
will have the reel and frame numbers and recordation stampings, which
were electronically superimposed on the recorded images.
What if I have a question about the fax service or need help?
Assignment Division staff are available to assist customers Monday
through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Eastern Time. The number is
January 5, 2000 WESLEY H. GEWEHR
Administrator for Information Dissemination
[1230 OG 109]