The Trademark Office
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is a fee-funded agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce. The role of the USPTO is to grant patents for the protection of inventions and to register trademarks and service marks for products and services, respectively. It serves the interests of small and large businesses as well as consumers, and helps strengthen the economy by promoting the industrial and technological progress of the nation.
The Commissioner for Trademarks heads the trademark organization and ensures that the USPTO properly examines trademark applications and grants registrations when applicants are entitled to them; records ownership changes of trademarks; maintains search files and records of U.S. trademarks; and publishes and disseminates trademark information.
What does the USPTO do?
The USPTO reviews trademark applications and determines whether the applied-for mark meets the requirements for federal registration. USPTO employees will answer general questions about the application process at no charge. Contact the Trademark Assistance Center (TAC) at TrademarkAssistanceCenter@uspto.gov or 1-800-786-9199. Note: The USPTO cannot provide any sort of information in the nature of “legal advice.” For legal advice, please consider contacting an attorney who specializes in intellectual property.
What does the USPTO not do?
The USPTO does not:
- Decide whether you have the right to use a mark (which differs from the right to register). No law requires that you federally register your mark in order to acquire rights in the mark;
- Enforce your rights in the mark or bring legal action against a potential infringer;
- Conduct trademark searches for the public;
- Comment on the validity of registered marks;
- Assist you with policing your mark against infringers;
- Assist you with recordation of your mark with U.S. Customs and Border Protection;
- Answer questions prior to filing on whether a particular mark or type of mark is eligible for trademark registration; or
- Offer legal advice or opinions about common law trademark rights, state registrations, or trademark infringement claims.