Q: I have tried using several Web sites to obtain a hard copy of the trademark paperwork required for filing. All I get is “file by e-mail.” I’m concerned about identity theft, and I will not use a credit card utilizing my computer to pay for anything. How do I obtain a hard copy trademark application form that I can review at my desk? I have several copyrights and two patents. I don’t understand why the trademark paperwork is suddenly unavailable.
Commissioner for Trademarks Lynne Beresford:
A: The USPTO’s pre-printed application form is available by calling the Trademark Assistance Center (TAC) at 571.272-9250 or 800.786.9199. TAC will either mail or fax a copy of the form to you.
If you decide to proceed with filing your trademark application with the USPTO, please be aware that it cannot be filed by facsimile or e-mail.
You indicated that you preferred not to file your application online through the USPTO’s Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS).
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Please rest assured that your credit card information is protected when you submit payment information through TEAS. Your payment information is never accessible outside of the USPTO. The USPTO utilizes Secure Socket Layer (128 bit) encryption, the standard that the U.S. Treasury recommends, to ensure that your payment information is secure as it passes between your Web browser and the USPTO payment server. Only once safely inside the USPTO firewall is the data “decrypted” solely for purposes of processing your payment.
Our experience shows that these security measures work. Over the more than 12 years that the TEAS system has been in use, more than 1.5 million trademark applications have been filed using the TEAS system. Most of those applicants paid fees by credit card, and as far as I know, the USPTO has never been notified of a cardholder’s credit card information being stolen after paying online through TEAS.
For those reasons, I hope you will consider filing your application electronically. If you nonetheless choose not to file your trademark application via TEAS, your remaining option for filing the application is by mailing it to the USPTO:
Commissioner for Trademarks
P.O. Box 1451
Alexandria, Virginia 22313-1451
Note that the amount of the filing fee that must be submitted with your trademark application varies, depending whether the application is filed on paper or electronically through TEAS.
An application filed on paper is $375 per class of goods/services in the application. An application filed electronically using TEAS is just $325 or $275, depending on the specific type of TEAS application filed.
In an effort to encourage electronic filing, the USPTO shares with its customers the reduction in administrative costs over paper filings.
You also expressed concern that by filing an electronic application through TEAS your personal information would be viewable by the public. Please note that whether you file a paper application or a TEAS application, the public will not have access to the payment information (such as credit card information and checks), but all other information in the application would be publicly available and viewable through the Trademark Document Retrieval (TDR) portal on the USPTO Web site at www.uspto.gov.