A USPTO Suspension Inquiry is a written communication from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) inquiring about the status of the event that caused the suspension of your trademark application. For example:
- The examining attorney may have previously suspended action on your application pending the outcome of a trademark opposition you filed against a conflicting trademark in a prior-filed application. In that case, you may periodically receive a Suspension Inquiry asking whether the opposition is still ongoing or whether it has been terminated.
- The examining attorney may have previously suspended action on your application pending the resolution of a trademark cancellation you filed against a conflicting trademark registration. In that case, you may periodically receive a Suspension Inquiry asking whether the cancellation is still ongoing or whether it has been terminated.
- If you filed your trademark application under Section 44(d) (U.S. application based on ownership of a foreign trademark application), and the examining attorney previously suspended action on your application, you’ll periodically receive a Suspension Inquiry asking whether the foreign trademark application has either become a registration or gone abandoned.
Do I Need to Respond to a USPTO Suspension Inquiry?
Unlike the Letter of Suspension you received when your trademark application was initially suspended, you must file a response to the Suspension Inquiry within six months of the issuance date. If you fail to do so, your application will go abandoned and you’ll have to start the trademark registration process all over again (unless you’re eligible to file a Petition to Revive).
How Do I File a Response to the Suspension Inquiry?
You should file a response to the Suspension Inquiry through the Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS) provided on the USPTO website. There’s currently a form called “Response to Suspension Inquiry or Letter of Suspension,” which you should use to provide all of the information requested by the examining attorney.
What Happens After I File the Response?
Depending on your response to the Suspension Inquiry and whether or not there are any other issues regarding your trademark application, the examining attorney will do one of the following:
- Maintain suspension of your application and issue a Letter of Suspension
- Remove your application from suspension so that your trademark can be published for opposition
- Approve your application for registration of your trademark on the Supplemental Register
- Issue a non-final trademark office action
- Issue a final office action
Only the last two in this list require further action on your part. For instance, you’ll need to file a response to a non-final trademark office action within six months of the issuance date. Or, if you receive a final office action, you’ll need to submit either a Request for Reconsideration or trademark appeal to prevent your application from going abandoned.
Need Help with a USPTO Suspension Inquiry?
I’m experienced US trademark attorney Morris Turek. If the USPTO has sent you a Suspension Inquiry and you’re not quite sure how to properly respond by the deadline, please reach out to me at your earliest convenience for your no-cost consultation. I can be reached by phone at (314) 749-4059, via email at email@example.com, or by using my contact form located at the bottom of this page. I look forward to speaking with you soon.