As I recently posted on Instagram, something unusual that happened this week: I got an email from the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Now that in and of itself is not so unusual. After all, I'm a trademark attorney, I get emails from the patent and trademark office all the time: when someone gets a Notice of Allowance informing them that it's time to file their Statement of Use; if a trademark is up for renewal; or if there's an Office Action on a pending application . . . I receive lots and lots of communications from the Patent and Trademark Office.
However, the particular communication that I received this week was kind of weird because it indicated that my client had received a registration of their trademark, but that no certificate was forthcoming unless we specifically requested it. Until now, I was used to getting physical certificates of registration in the mail. And then I would send them in a nice little package to my clients with a letter of congratulations and instructions about some next steps to take in order to protect their trademark.
Apparently, the Patent and Trademark Office has stopped automatically issuing physical certificates of registration. They say it is due to customer preferences; that people prefer PDF's. Now don't worry, if you applied before this week, you can still click on a little link that they send you to order a complimentary Certificate of Registration, but it's not automatic. And anyone that files a new trademark application after this week, you're going to have to pay a fee in order to get that Certificate of Registration or you can print your own PDF.
I guess things are changing throughout the world; people are more eco conscious and we're trying to reduce paper waste. So this is the U.S. Patent and Trademark office's way of doing that and and maybe saving a little money on printing. But I have to say, it is really anticlimactic after people spend so much time and money on the registration process, which takes at least a year these days from start to finish. Between the Patent and Trademark Office fees and attorneys fees, to just get an email at the end is disappointing. I guess I'm old fashioned; I like to see some tangible results of my work. How about you?