The USPTO’s Identity Verification Requirement For Trademark Filers

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On January 8, 2022, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) introduced identity verification for USPTO.gov account holders using the Trademark Electronic Application System (“TEAS”) and TEAS International (“TEASi”).  Starting April 9, 2022 identify verification will be required for USPTO.gov account holders to file through TEAS and TEASi.  The identify verification is part of the USPTO’s ongoing initiative to strengthen its security of the trademark filing process and protect the integrity of the U.S. trademark register.

Who is required to verify their identity?

You must verify your identify if you are a: 1) trademark owner or corporate office not represented by an attorney; 2) U.S. licensed attorney, including in-house counsel; or 3) Canadian attorney or agent.  You must be sponsored by a verified attorney if you are a: 1) paralegal; or 2) other support staff working for an attorney.  If the USPTO has previously verified your identity during the patent application process, you do not need to verify again, but may need to select a trademark filing role.

How to verify your identity?

You will verify your identity online through ID.me, which is a self-service system that should take less than 15 minutes (international customers will be routed to a Trusted Referee, in lieu of the self-service system).

You will need: 1) A smartphone, tablet or computer with a front-facing camera and internet connection; and 2) A government-issued photo ID with the name identical to the name on your USPTO account (if the name on your government-issued photo ID and USPTO account do not match, the name on your USPTO account will be automatically updated to match your government-issued photo ID).

ID.me will ask you for: 1) Your social security number (U.S. only); 2) Biometric data (in the form of a selfie and government-issued photo ID to verify your identity); and 3) Permission to access your credit profile (soft credit check).

Step-by-step:

  1. Log in to your USPTO account
  2. Confirm the name on your USPTO account matches your government-issued ID
  3. Go to the Trademark account ID verification page by selecting any TEAS form link
  4. Select your filing role in USPTO account (Trademark owner, U.S. licensed attorney, Canadian attorney/agent or Support staff member)
  5. Select “Verify with ID.me”
  6. Create ID.me account (or use an existing account)
  7. Verification: upload picture of government-issued ID and selfie
  8. Review information
  9. Click “Allow” so confirmation is shared with the USPTO

In the event that ID.me cannot verify your identity through the self-service, you may be prompted to continue in a short video call where you will be required to show your physical documents to a Trusted Referee.

This page addresses any issues you may encounter during the ID.me process.

Alternative: Paper Verification

If you prefer paper verification instead of online verification, you must download and complete the paper ID verification form, which is available here.  Present two forms of government-issued ID to a notary public to get your completed form notarized.  Once notarized, mail the original notarized form to:

Mail Stop EBC

Commissioner for Trademarks

P.O. Box 1451

Alexandria, VA 223313-1451

Note that paper verification can take up to two to three weeks of processing time.  More information regarding the paper verification process is available here.

What about sponsoring legal support staff?

Before using the sponsorship tool through MyUSPTO, attorneys must first be verified themselves and their to-be sponsored support staff must have their own USPTO account.  Through the sponsorship tool, attorneys can sponsor support staff, revoke/manage sponsorships, restore previously sponsored support staff and view sponsorship history.  Sponsored support staff can withdraw from sponsorship, request sponsorship for another support staff member and view sponsorship history.  The Trademark Sponsorship Tool Guide is available here.

Answers to common questions and additional information about the identity verification process is available here.

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