TMEP 202: Requirements for Receiving a Filing Date

October 2017 Edition of the TMEP

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202    Requirements for Receiving a Filing Date

Under 37 C.F.R. §2.21(a), the USPTO will grant a filing date to an application under §1 or §44 of the Trademark Act that is in the English language and contains all of the following:

  • (1) The name of the applicant;
  • (2) A name and address for correspondence;
  • (3) A clear drawing of the mark;
  • (4) A listing of the goods or services; and
  • (5) The filing fee for at least one class of goods or services.

The filing date requirements apply to both the Principal and the Supplemental Register. Kraft Group LLC v. Harpole, 90 USPQ2d 1837 (TTAB 2009) (use in commerce is not required for receipt of a filing date for an application requesting registration on the Supplemental Register).

If an application does not satisfy all the above requirements, it will not be given a filing date.  The USPTO will notify the applicant of the reason(s) why the application was not given a filing date, and refund the application filing fee.

The applicant must provide a physical address to which paper correspondence can be mailed in order to receive a filing date.  An e-mail address and authorization to send communications by e-mail cannot be substituted for a physical address. A post office box is acceptable.

Applications that do not meet the minimum requirements for receipt of a filing date are referred to as "informal."  See TMEP §203 regarding review for compliance with minimum filing requirements, and TMEP §§204 et seq. for information about how the USPTO handles informal applications.

In an application under §66(a) of the Trademark Act, 15 U.S.C. §1141f(a) (i.e., a request for extension of protection of an international registration to the United States), compliance with the minimum filing requirements of §66(a) of the Act will be determined by the IB prior to sending the application to the USPTO.  See TMEP §§ 19.4 et seq. for further information about §66(a) applications.