TRADEMARK OFFICE STARTS INCLUDING QR CODES ON REGISTRATION CERTIFICATES; INTENDS TO PHASE OUT PAPER CERTIFICATES

As of December 24, 2019, the United States Patent and Trademark Office began including quick response codes (“QR codes”) on printed trademark registration certificates. QR codes are essentially two-dimensional barcodes that can be read using an imaging device, like a smartphone camera (paired with an appropriate app). Scanning a QR code on a trademark registration certificate allows the scanner to open a digital version of the certificate online through the Trademark Status and Document Retrieval (“TSDR”) system. This allows you to verify that the information on the print version of the certificate is the same as the information posted by the Trademark Office online in the TSDR system.

The QR codes are also “a step toward providing an official digital registration certificate that will replace the print version.” It thus seems the Trademark Office is taking steps to “go green” and eventually do away with mailing paper certificates as the final step in the registration process. It is unclear whether registrants who still desire to obtain a paper certificate will be able to special order one, although it seems likely. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions regarding these recent developments.

To read the Trademark Office’s announcement, click here.

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