TMEP 503.08: Accessibility of Assignment Records

October 2017 Edition of the TMEP

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503.08    Accessibility of Assignment Records

The Assignment Recordation Branch of the USPTO maintains separate records for patents and trademarks. 15 U.S.C. §1060(a)(5); 37 C.F.R. §2.200(a)(1).

The public can search the trademark assignment records of the Assignment Recordation Branch on the USPTO website at

Assignments of trademark applications and registrations are open to public inspection upon recordation in the Assignment Recordation Branch.  See 37 C.F.R. §3.31(b) and TMEP §503.03(e) regarding the submission of separate cover sheets for documents that include interests in, or transactions involving, both patents and trademarks.

Before 1955, documents were recorded in bound volumes.  The location of documents in these volumes is designated by "liber and page," that is, by the number of the book (liber) and the number of the page in the book.  Since 1955, documents have been recorded on microfilm, and are available for immediate inspection in the Trademark Assignment Search Room.  The location of these documents is designated by "reel and frame," that is, by the number of the reel on which they are microfilmed and the number of the frame on the reel.

All assignment records related to pre-1955 trademark records were transferred to the National Archives and Records Administration ("NARA") in 1990.  The USPTO still maintains records of all trademark assignments recorded on or after January 1, 1955.

All trademark assignment records from 1837 to December 31, 1954 are maintained and available for public inspection in the National Archives Research Room located at the Washington National Records Center Building, 4205 Suitland Road, Suitland, Maryland 20746.  Assignments recorded before 1837 are maintained at the National Archives and Records Administration, 841 South Pickett Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22304.

Copies of assignment records recorded on or after January 1, 1955 may be ordered from the USPTO upon payment of the fee required by 37 C.F.R. §2.6.  An order for a copy of an assignment record should identify the reel and frame at which it is recorded in the Assignment Recordation Branch.  If the correct reel and frame numbers are not identified (e.g., the order identifies the document only by the name of the registrant and the number of the registration, or by the name of the applicant and the serial number of the application), the USPTO will charge an additional fee for the time spent searching for the document.

Requests for copies of pre-1955 trademark assignment records should be directed to NARA.  Payment of the fees required by NARA should accompany all requests for copies. 37 C.F.R. §2.200(a)(2).