[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 238 (Wednesday, December 15, 2021)]
[Pages 71249-71250]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-27116]



Patent and Trademark Office

[Docket No. PTO-T-2021-0051]

USPTO To Begin Issuing Electronic Trademark Registration 

AGENCY: United States Patent and Trademark Office, Commerce.

ACTION: Request for comments.


SUMMARY: The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is 
seeking comments on its plan to begin issuing electronic trademark 
registration certificates in the spring of 2022. Upon issuance, the 
electronic registration certificate will be the official registration 
certificate. After the USPTO begins issuing electronic registration 
certificates, trademark owners will have the option to order paper 
``presentation'' copies for a fee. They will also continue to be able 
to order certified copies of their trademark registrations. This notice 
outlines the USPTO's plan and requests comments from U.S. trademark 
owners, practitioners, and other interested parties regarding their 
views about this plan.

DATES: Written comments must be received on or before December 15, 

ADDRESSES: Comments regarding this notice should be sent to 
[email protected], with the subject line ``Electronic Registration 
Certificates.'' If a submission by email is not feasible due to, e.g., 
a lack of access to a computer and/or the internet, please contact the 
USPTO for special instructions using the contact information provided 
in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this notice.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Catherine Cain, Office of the Deputy 
Commissioner for Trademark Examination Policy, USPTO, at 571-272-8946 
or [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The USPTO will begin issuing trademark 
registration certificates electronically via the USPTO's Trademark 
Status and

[[Page 71250]]

Document Retrieval (TSDR) system in the spring of 2022. By doing so, 
the USPTO is continuing with its efforts to move to full electronic 
processing of trademark applications and registrations. This change 
also updates USPTO practice to conform to customer requests and public 
comments the USPTO has received that indicated a strong preference to 
receive trademark registration certificates in a digital format rather 
than as a paper certificate. The change will make the certificates more 
accessible for trademark owners and decrease the time it takes for 
trademark owners to receive them.
    After implementation, trademark registration certificates will no 
longer be issued by printing the registration certificate on paper and 
mailing it to the correspondence address of record. Instead, the USPTO 
will issue the registration electronically under the electronic 
signature of the Director and with a digital seal, which will serve to 
authenticate the registration. The USPTO will upload the official 
registration certificate to the TSDR database, and an electronic notice 
will be emailed to the trademark owner with a link to provide access to 
the certificate upon issue. Posted with the electronic registration 
certificate will be information regarding registration maintenance 
requirements pursuant to sections 8(d) and 71(c) of the Trademark Act 
of 1946. Trademark owners will be able to use the emailed link to view, 
download, and print a complete copy of the registration certificate at 
no charge at any time.
    While the USPTO will no longer send a paper registration 
certificate upon issue, trademark owners will be able to obtain a 
printed copy of the first page of the issued registration that is 
suitable for framing. This document, known as a ``presentation'' copy, 
will be printed on heavy paper; feature a gold foil seal; identify the 
owner(s); and display bibliographic data, the trademark, and the 
classes of goods and/or services. Trademark owners who file an initial 
application on or after the implementation date will be able to order 
presentation copies for $25 per copy through the Trademark Electronic 
Application System (TEAS). Trademark owners who filed an initial 
application before the implementation date will be able to order 
presentation copies for free using a TEAS form. Trademark owners will 
continue to be able to order certified copies of the trademark 
registration for a fee. The certified copy certifies the status and 
title of the registration and includes the signature of an authorized 
certifying officer.


    The USPTO has made significant efforts to implement end-to-end 
electronic processing of trademark applications and related 
submissions. End-to-end electronic processing means that an application 
and all application- and registration-related submissions are filed and 
processed electronically, and any related correspondence between the 
USPTO and the relevant party is conducted electronically. TEAS was 
established to provide applicants the capability of filing their 
trademark applications electronically, and TSDR provides real-time 
access to the electronic file wrappers of U.S. trademark applications 
and registrations, and displays information contained in USPTO records 
regarding documents filed under the Madrid system through the United 
    In December 2019, the USPTO added a quick-response code to the 
paper registration certificate that opens a digital version of the 
registration certificate in TSDR. This was a step toward providing an 
official digital registration certificate to replace the printed 
version. In February 2020, the USPTO began requiring, with limited 
exceptions, all filers to submit trademark application- and 
registration-related documents using TEAS. See Changes to the Trademark 
Rules of Practice To Mandate Electronic Filing (84 FR 69330, December 
18, 2019). By mandating electronic filing of trademark applications and 
submissions concerning applications or registrations through TEAS, the 
final rule reduced paper processing to an absolute minimum. As part of 
the rule, and to prepare for the transition to electronic registration 
certificates, 37 CFR 2.151 was amended to delete the wording regarding 
sending the certificate of registration.
    In an effort to further streamline the trademark application 
process, the USPTO is now planning to issue trademark registration 
certificates electronically. The USPTO currently issues approximately 
6,000 to 9,000 printed trademark registration certificates per week. 
The printing process is costly and time-consuming. Each registration 
certificate must be reviewed by a team of in-house contractors, printed 
on special paper, and then mailed to customers. Once a paper trademark 
registration certificate is issued, a copy of the registration 
certificate is available for viewing and printing by the public in 
    The electronic trademark issuance process would permit the USPTO to 
issue trademark registrations approximately one to two weeks faster 
than the current paper process by discontinuing the printing, 
assembling, and mailing of a paper trademark registration certificate 
upon issuance. The trademark owner and the public would benefit from 
this time saved. For example, owners would be able to view and print 
their electronically issued trademark registrations through TSDR 
sooner, rather than waiting for their paper trademark registration 
certificate to be sent by mail.
    The USPTO will review any comments received and will publish a 
notice reminding the public of the transition to electronic 
registration certificates approximately 30 days before the 
implementation date, once it is determined.

Andrew Hirshfeld,
Commissioner for Patents, Performing the Functions and Duties of the 
Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of 
the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
[FR Doc. 2021-27116 Filed 12-14-21; 8:45 am]