It is amazing how often people file to register a trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and then never check the status of the application.  They figure that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office will contact them if needed.  But what if there is a problem and correspondence is lost or the trademark application gets lost in the system?

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office requires that an applicant check the status of the application every 6 months.  TMEP Section 108.03 states:

108.03 Due Diligence: Duty to Monitor Status

Trademark applicants and registrants should monitor the status of their applications or registrations in cases where a notice or action from the USPTO is expected. Inquiries regarding the status of pending matters should be made during the following time periods:

(1) During the pendency of an application, an applicant should check the status of the application every six months between the filing date of the application and issuance of a registration; and

(2) After filing an affidavit of use or excusable nonuse under §8 or §71 of the Trademark Act, or a renewal application under §9 of the Act, a registrant should check the status of the registration every six months until the registrant receives notice that the affidavit or renewal application has been accepted.

Should the status inquiry reveal that a document is lost, that no action has been taken regarding correspondence that was submitted, or that some other problem exists, the applicant or registrant must promptly request corrective action. 37 C.F.R. §2.146(i). Failure to act diligently and follow up with appropriate action may result in denial of the requested relief. The USPTO may deny petitions to reactivate abandoned applications and cancelled registrations when a party fails to inquire about the status of a pending matter within a reasonable time. See TMEP §§1705.05 and 1714.01(d).

Written status inquiries are discouraged, because they can delay processing. Whenever possible, status inquiries should be made through the TARR database. If additional information regarding the status of an application or registration is required, callers may telephone TAC at (571) 272-9250 or (800) 786-9199.

Therefore, as a best practice, you should calendar a status check on your trademark application every six months.

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