New USPTO Rule Requires E-Filing for Trademark Submissions

Written August 5, 2019

The US Patent and Trademark Office will require electronic filing for all trademark applications beginning October 5, 2019, according to a USPTO Mandate Electronic Filing for TMs published July 31, 2019. 84 Fed. Reg. 37081-37099. This new rule will apply to all users conducting business with the USPTO regarding a trademark matter.

Specifically, trademark applicants and registrants will be required to:

  • File their trademark applications and documents concerning trademark applications and registrations online using the USPTO's Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS).
  • Provide and maintain an accurate email address for receiving correspondence from the USPTO about their particular application or registration.
  • Provide and maintain an accurate postal address to ensure that the USPTO can contact them if their email correspondence address doesn't work.

According to the USPTO, the goal of this new rule is to have “end-to-end electronic processing of applications and registrations, which will result in faster processing times and fewer errors. Paper submissions hinder efficiency and accuracy and are more costly than electronic submissions because they require manual processing. Electronic submissions generally do not.”

Only 144 of 468,000 trademark applications were filed on paper in fiscal year 2018, or about 0.03 percent. But about 12 percent of applications involve some paper processing, the agency said.