109.02 Paper Files
Effective April 12, 2004, the USPTO no longer creates paper files for all trademark applications or paper copies of certain trademark-related documents that are submitted to the USPTO in electronic format. Furthermore, the USPTO does not generate paper copies of certain trademark documents that the USPTO creates, except for copies that are sent to recipients by mail. See New USPTO Policies Regarding (1) Generation of Paper Copies of Trademark-Related Documents and (2) Public Access to Existing Paper Copies of Trademark-Related Documents (TMOG Apr. 6, 2004), at http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/com/sol/og/2004/week14/pattmcp.htm. All these documents can be viewed through TICRS and TSDR.
Procedure for Requesting Paper Files. A member of the public must make a request for access to the file. The request must include the name and phone number of the person requesting the file. USPTO personnel must keep a record of all files being removed, and enter the new location of the file (e.g., charged to non-USPTO personnel) in the Trademark database. The public must inspect the file on the premises of the USPTO, and nothing may be removed from the file without written authorization from the Office of the Commissioner for Trademarks. Requests for files should be made at the following locations:
- Files Located Within the Trademark Operation or at the Board. A request for access to a paper file that is located within the Trademark Operation or at the Board should be directed to TAC, located in the James Madison Building - East Wing, Concourse Level, 600 Dulany Street, Alexandria, VA, between 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. This includes files located in the law offices, Pre-Examination Section, ITU Unit, and Post Registration Section. See Official Gazette notice dated April 6, 2004, posted at http://www.uspto.gov/web/trademarks/notice_paperfiles.htm. The file will usually be available to the requester within a few days.
- Files Located at the Warehouse. Requests for access to paper files located at the warehouse should be directed either (1) to TAC, located in the James Madison Building - East Wing, Concourse Level, 600 Dulany Street, Alexandria, VA, between 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. or (2) to the File Information Unit, located on the third floor of the Randolph Square Building, 2800 South Randolph Street, Arlington, VA, between 7:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. This includes files for abandoned applications, cancelled and expired registrations, and terminated Trademark Trial and Appeal Board proceedings. The file will usually be available to the requester within a few days.
The public can check TSDR to determine where a file is located.
Paper files for abandoned applications and cancelled and expired registrations are stored in the warehouse for two years after the date of abandonment, cancellation, or expiration, and then destroyed. See notice at 980 TMOG 16, reprinted at 1232 TMOG 625 (March 21, 2000). See TBMP §120.03 regarding the retention schedule for the files of terminated Board proceedings.
No file or related document may be removed from the premises occupied by the USPTO, except as required by the issue process or other official process, unless specifically authorized by the Director. 18 U.S.C. §2071(b). If such authorization is given, the employee having custody will be responsible for complying with the requirements of law.
See TMEP §503.08 regarding the accessibility of assignment records.