tsdr’s Super Serial Number Problem
Here is a chart to further demonstrate the tsdr super serial number problem. Positionally from the cover we have these registration numbers (two exclusions for never being issued), patent gazette serial numbers and super serial numbers in tsdr (three additional exclusions for not being online. They are not in tsdr so no super serial number). It should be clear from this chart that only two of the registration certificates on the cover would be found in tsdr by searching for their super serial number built from the patent gazette serial number shown in the book. (They’re the two with series codes of 71 bolded below.)
|Gas Engine Trademarks|
by C. H. Wendel
PGS#=Patent gazette serial number
SS#=Super serial number, use this number on tsds’s search screen and select “serial number”
The bolded ones are where the series code is not the undocumented series 60.
¹ never issued
² isn’t on ustpo.gov but available on this site! I have ~10,000 that aren’t on uspto.gov
Here are the two applications whose logos are shown on the cover but whose trademarks were never issued:
I should also point out that the patent gazette serial number is what’s generally shown in the registration certificate itself. Registration certificates for trademarks issued before 1905 do not contain a serial number and modern ones show the super serial number sometimes using the notation of series code/patent gazette serial number.
tsdr’s bulk retriever on the uspto site will return up to 25 registration certificates in a single pdf file. They can be retrieved by the four criteria mentioned above. Here is a link to pull up the registration certificates that are available online via the super serial numbers shown above: bulk registration certificates. Here are links to the three registration certificates mentioned above that are not online at uspto.gov: 149681, 166251 and 303114. Linked on those pages are pdfs of these registration certificates! There are 10,902 registration certificates that I know are not available on uspto.gov that are available on this site. I don’t know exactly what is or isn’t online so you may get an error like ‘no case file found’. If I think it’s online I’ll generate the link, whether it’s actually on uspto.gov is another story! Again they are fun and of interest to Historic Intellectual Property fans who don’t care that the trademarks are dead! Like Raggedy Ann for example. You won’t be able to find it on uspto.gov
Again the task of finding these registration certificates would be nearly impossible if all you have is the patent gazette serial number. Only the two bolded ones above retrieve the corresponding registration certificate when you only know patent gazette serial number and proper series code to apply. As is the case in Mr. Wendel’s book, knowing only the patent gazette serial number does you little good! Especially true since there are hundreds of thousands of dead trademarks were the serial number in tsdr = 60 million (series code 60) + the registration number, thirteen of which are shown in the chart above.
I needed the patent office’s help to learn that two of the trademark applications on the cover were never issued. This information is not online. Trademark journals in the Public Research Facility in Alexandria, Virgina are the only source of this information that I know. They are indexed by patent gazette serial number which means you must know the application date in order to find the appropriate journal. As mentioned above, patent gazette indexes are not unique (applying the series code makes them unique). Unfortunately these journals have not been scanned.
Here’s a picture of these journals along with an application I was researching that turned out to not have been issued.
This Starrett registration (not gas engine related) was successfully opposed. There was some sort of opposition number in the journal but the librarian helping me did not know how to look up who opposed the registration. The opposition had to have come from a competitor that had a similar trademark, but which one was it?
The trademark data for dead trademarks on uspto.gov is not as this fan of Historic Intellectual Property would like. I’d prefer a perfect world where I could enter a super serial number (patent gazette serial number with a series code) and get the registration number or registration certificate if the trademark application was ever granted, or get an error message explaining that the trademark was never issued. As Sam Cooke sang, what a wonderful world it would be! Using my ocr trademark database and patent publications at Hathi Trust I was able to find 483 registration numbers (leading to their corresponding registration certificates except in the two cases that the certificates were never scanned) of the applications in Mr. Wendel’s book. With kudos to the patent office I was given two more registration numbers I was unable to find on my own plus information that fourteen more applications shown in the book were never issued (so I’d know to stop looking for them!). I could supply this information but I don’t want to rob anyone the opportunity to find them themselves.
A little googling turned up Mr. Wendel’s web site! http://chwendel.com/ I also found references to two other out of print trademark related books of his:
- American Automobile Trademarks 1900-1960
- American Farm Tractor Trademarks: Encyclopedia of Tractor Trademarks 1870s-1960s
I located copies of both on the used book market and am awaiting their arrival. I’ll report on this site how locating their registration certificates goes.
Up next, a real life example that explains how to use online patent gazettes to find registration numbers and/or trademark images.