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What information is made public when you get a trademark?

You decided to get a trademark, but there was something you didn't ask. Would your personal information become public by creating this record? Who else can access the trademark's information and your own?

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) reported that any personal information that you use when applying for a trademark will be made public. The application for a trademark is of public record, which means that anyone in the public can search for and find the information you include in the request.

People looking to find out information about you can search the USPTO website regardless of the age of the application, if the application is abandoned, if your trademark expires or if the registration is canceled. On top of that, it's well-known that third-party search engines and websites may take this information for their own purposes. The information collected may include your phone number, email address, name or other personal information.

What should you do if you want to prevent personal information from becoming public?

The only thing you can do when looking into obtaining a trademark is to be sure you carefully determine which information you're happy with the public seeing. Do not include any information in your initial filing if it is information you don't want to have go public. For example, if you don't want your name and address to go public, you may consider applying with your name but registering a P.O. box or other address that is not directly linked to your home. You do not have to provide a phone number with most applications, but by including one, even if it's a temporary number, the USPTO can contact you directly if needed.

Source: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, "FAQs Personal Information in Trademark Records," accessed April 05, 2018

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