503.02   Documents that the Office Will Record

37 C.F.R. §3.11  Documents which will be recorded.

  • (a) Assignments of applications, patents, and registrations, accompanied by completed cover sheets as specified in §§3.28 and 3.31, will be recorded in the Office.  Other documents, accompanied by completed cover sheets as specified in §§3.28 and 3.31, affecting title to applications, patents, or registrations, will be recorded as provided in this part or at the discretion of the Director.
  • (b) Executive Order 9424 of February 18, 1944 (9 FR 1959, 3 CFR 1943-1948 Comp., p. 303) requires the several departments and other executive agencies of the Government, including Government-owned or Government-controlled corporations, to forward promptly to the Director for recording all licenses, assignments, or other interests of the Government in or under patents or patent applications.  Assignments and other documents affecting title to patents or patent applications and documents not affecting title to patents or patent applications required by Executive Order 9424 to be filed will be recorded as provided in this part.

The USPTO records assignments of trademark applications and registrations, accompanied by completed cover sheets.  The USPTO also records documents that affect title to a trademark application or registration, such as certificates issued by appropriate authorities showing a change of name of a business or a merger of businesses.  Although a mere change of name does not constitute a change of legal entity, it is a proper link in the chain of title.  Documents of merger are also proper links in the chain of title.

Some instruments that relate to registered marks or to marks in pending applications may be recorded, even though they do not constitute a transfer or change of title to the mark or do not convey the entire title or interest in the business in which the mark is used.  Typically, these instruments are license agreements, security agreements, and agreements between parties limiting future extension of use of a mark with regard to the goods/services or other circumstances of use.  These instruments are recorded to give third parties notification of equitable interests or other matters relevant to the ownership of a mark.

The USPTO may also record a partial assignment of an interest in a mark.  See TMEP §501.06.

In an application under §66 of the Trademark Act or a registered extension of protection, the new owner must record any change of ownership, including a change of owner name, with the IB, who will record the change in the International Register and notify the USPTO accordingly.  The USPTO will record only those assignments (or other documents affecting title) that have been recorded in the International Register.  See 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 §66(a) applications and registered extensions of protection.  37 C.F.R. §7.22.  See TMEP §501.07.