TMEP 503.05: Recording Procedure and Recordation Date

This is the October 2015 Edition of the TMEP

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503.05    Recording Procedure and Recordation Date

Applications and Registrations Under §§1 and 44 of the Trademark Act. The recording of documents in the Assignment Recordation Branch of the USPTO is governed by 37 C.F.R. Part 3.

To expedite recordation, new owners are encouraged to file requests for recordation electronically through ETAS, on the USPTO website, at http://etas.uspto.gov. Using ETAS, a new owner can create and submit a Trademark Assignment Recordation Form Cover Sheet by completing an online form, and attach the supporting legal documentation as a TIFF image or PDF document for submission via the Internet. Documents filed electronically are recorded much faster than paper documents.

The date of recordation is the date that the USPTO receives a document meeting the requirements for recording. See 37 C.F.R. §3.51. A document that fails to meet the identification requirements in 37 C.F.R. §3.31 will not be recorded. Id. Documents not meeting other requirements for recording, e.g., missing a completed cover sheet, will retain the original filing date if the corrected documents are resubmitted within the timeframe specified in the letter returning the documents for correction. Id.

The party recording the document should carefully review the document and cover sheet for accuracy and completeness. The USPTO only examines the materials submitted for form, to determine whether the requirements for recording (see TMEP §§503.03(a))-503.03(e)) have been met.

If the materials submitted meet the requirements for recordation, the Assignment Recordation Branch will record the document and cover sheet. Only the data specified on the cover sheet will be entered in the Assignment database. After recording the document and cover sheet, the USPTO will issue a notice of recordation that reflects the data as recorded in the Assignment database. The party recording the document should carefully review the notice of recordation. See TMEP §§503.06(a)-503.06(f) regarding correction of errors in a cover sheet or recorded document.

Under 37 C.F.R. §3.51, the USPTO will return documents that do not meet the requirements for recording (e.g., documents submitted without a completed cover sheet, the appropriate fee, or an English translation, where applicable) to the sender for correction. The returned documents, stamped with the original date of receipt in the USPTO, will be accompanied by a notice of non-recordation indicating that, if the returned documents are corrected and resubmitted to the USPTO within a specified period of time, the USPTO will assign the original filing date of the documents as the recordation date. The USPTO will not extend the time period specified in the letter. If the returned documents are corrected and resubmitted after the time specified in the letter, the recordation date is the date on which the USPTO receives corrected documents that meet the requirements for recording. The certificate of mailing and transmission procedures of 37 C.F.R. §2.197 and the Priority Mail Express® procedure of 37 C.F.R. §2.198 may be used for resubmitting the returned documents, to avoid lateness due to mail delay.

If documents submitted for recording are returned unrecorded by the Assignment Recordation Branch, and the submitter believes that the documents were returned in error, he or she may file a petition to the Director under 37 C.F.R. §2.146. See TMEP §§1702 through 1708 regarding petitions.

Applicants and registrants can search the Assignment database at Assignments on the Web to determine whether an assignment has been recorded.

Section 66(a) Applications and Registered Extensions of Protection. In an application under §66(a) of the Trademark Act or a registered extension of protection, the IB will notify the USPTO of any changes in ownership, including a change of owner name, recorded in the International Register, and of the date of recordation. The USPTO will record only those assignments (or other documents affecting title) that have been recorded in the International Register. See TMEP §501.07 for further information about assignment of §66(a) applications and registered extensions of protection, and TMEP §§1906.01 and 1906.01(a) for information about recording changes of ownership of international registrations with the IB.

Section 10 of the Trademark Act and 37 C.F.R. Part 3 do not apply to assignments of an international registration. 37 C.F.R. §7.22.