Filing a trademark application can be a complex and time-consuming process. You need to provide accurate and complete information about your trademark, your goods or services, and your use of the mark in commerce. You also need to pay the filing fee and submit a specimen of your mark.
But what if you realize that you forgot to include something in your trademark application? Maybe you made a typo, left out a word, or used the wrong symbol. Maybe you didn’t specify the correct class of goods or services, or you didn’t attach the proper specimen. Maybe you even used the registered trademark symbol (®) before you actually received your registration certificate.
Whatever the case, don’t panic. Depending on the type and timing of your error, you may be able to correct it without affecting your application status or registration date. In this blog post, we’ll explain how to check for errors in your trademark application, how to correct them using online forms, and when to seek professional help from a trademark attorney.
How to Check for Errors in Your Trademark Application
The first step to correcting an error in your trademark application is to check your filing receipt. This is the document that you receive from the USPTO after you submit your online form. It contains important information such as:
Your application serial number
Your filing date
Your goods or services
Your contact information
Your fee payment
You should review your filing receipt carefully and compare it with the information you entered in your online form. If you filed your application on your own, without the assistance of an attorney, and you find any discrepancies or mistakes, you should contact the Trademark Assistance Center (TAC) as soon as possible. The TAC can help you fix minor errors such as typos or misspellings that do not affect the substance of your application.
You should also check the status of your application and view the documents in your file using the Trademark Status and Document Retrieval (TSDR) system. This is a database that allows you to see where you are in the examination process and what actions have been taken by the USPTO or by third parties. You can also set up email notifications to receive alerts about any changes or updates to your application.
You should check your status and documents regularly until you receive your registration certificate. This way, you can catch any errors or issues that may arise during the examination process and respond to them promptly.
How to Correct Errors in Your Trademark Application
If you find an error in your trademark application that cannot be fixed by contacting the TAC, you may need to file a request for amendment using one of the online forms available on the USPTO website. The type of form you need to use depends on the type and timing of your error.
For example, if you want to correct an error in your mark, such as adding or deleting a word or changing the design, you may need to file a Request for Amendment of Application under Section 7(d) before publication. This form allows you to amend your mark only if it does not materially alter its appearance or meaning. This means that substantive changes to a trademark are generally not permitted. So the addition or removal of a comma might be allowed, but if you actually need to add or remove a word, that change is likely to be denied.
If you want to correct an error in your goods or services, such as adding or deleting a class or modifying the description, you may need to file a Voluntary Amendment form before publication. This form allows you to amend your goods or services only if they are within the scope of the original identification. Again, keep in mind that substantive changes will typically be denied once an Examiner reviews it.
If you want to correct an error in your use of the mark, such as changing the date of first use or submitting a different specimen, you may need to file a Response to Office Action form after receiving an office action from the examining attorney. This form allows you to respond to any issues raised by the examiner and submit evidence or arguments to support your amendment.
If you want to correct an error in your contact information, such as changing your name, address, email, phone number, or attorney representation, you may need to file a Change of Correspondence Address form at any time during or after examination. This form allows you to update your contact information and ensure that you receive all communications from the USPTO.
When to Seek Professional Help from a Trademark Attorney
Not all errors are correctable using online forms. Some errors may affect the substance or validity of your application and require more complex actions or procedures. For example, if you want to change your mark in a way that materially alters its appearance or meaning, such as changing its color scheme or adding a slogan, you may need to file a new application and pay a new fee.
Similarly, if you want to change your goods or services in a way that expands their scope beyond the original identification, such as adding new products or categories that were not previously covered by your application, you may need to file a new application and pay a new fee for that as well.
In these cases, you could benefit from seeking professional help from a trademark attorney who can advise you on the best course of action and help you avoid any pitfalls or complications. A trademark attorney can also help you with other aspects of trademark registration, such as conducting a trademark search, drafting a trademark description, responding to office actions, and enforcing your trademark rights.
Filing a trademark application is not a one-time event. It is an ongoing process that requires your attention and diligence. If you forget to include something in your trademark application, you may be able to correct it using online forms, depending on the type and timing of your error. However, some errors may require more complex actions or procedures, or even a new application and fee.
To avoid errors and ensure a smooth and successful registration process, you should always check your filing receipt, check your status and documents, and seek professional help from a trademark attorney when needed.
If you need help with filing or correcting a trademark application, you can contact us. We offer affordable and personalized services that will help you secure and protect your trademark rights.
Don’t let an error in your trademark application ruin your chances of registering your mark. Contact us today for a free consultation with a trademark attorney.