Trademark FAQs

Does a pseudo mark change the rights of a trademark owner?

What is a pseudo mark?

A pseudo mark is a plain English spelling of a phonetic trademark that comprises a misspelled word, a number, or telescopic trademark. A pseudo mark works like search tag and it is added to the USPTO database to make some trademarks more searchable. A pseudo mark may also discourage infringing trademark application filings.

For some marks, the USPTO has added a pseudo mark to the search data to assist users in identifying relevant marks related to their search term.  The “pseudo mark” field, which is not displayed, often contains spellings that are very similar or phonetically equivalent to the word mark.  For example, if “4U” appears in the mark, the term “for you” would be added to the pseudo-mark field.  This provides an additional search tool for locating marks that contain an alternative or intentionally corrupted spelling for a normal English word.  Pseudo mark entries are not displayed or printed in the search results and are not part of the official application or registration.

TMEP 104 Trademark Searching

Does a psuedo mark change the rights of a trademark owner?

No, not usually. But a pseudo mark helps put others on notice about a trademark.
If I search for “FOR YOU,” results that include “4U” will show up, but not the other way around. Pseudo mark entries are not displayed or printed in the search results and are not part of the official application or registration.
A trademark is often considered confusingly similar if it sounds the same as another non-identical mark. So in the above example, the trademark “4U” would usually be confusingly similar to the term “for you,” if they were being used for the same goods or services sold in the same channels of trade.
In the following telescopic trademark BOBFORYOU, it has the  PSEUDO MARK: BOB FOR YOU. The examiner sent the applicant the following Notice of PSEUDO MARK:

From: TMDesignCodeComments
Sent: Friday, August 26, 2016 06:52 AM
To: brand.register @
Subject: Official USPTO Notice of Pseudo Mark: U.S. Trademark SN: 87146000: BOBFORYOU (Stylized/Design)

Docket/Reference Number:  U.S. Trademark SN: 87146000

The USPTO may assign pseudo marks, as appropriate, to new applications to assist in searching the USPTO database for conflicting marks.  They have no legal significance and will not appear on the registration certificate.
A PSEUDO MARK may be assigned to marks that include words, numbers, compound words, symbols, or acronyms that can have alternative spellings or meanings.  For example, if the mark comprises the words ‘YOU ARE’ surrounded by a design of a box, the pseudo mark field in the USPTO database would display the mark as ‘YOU ARE SQUARE’.  A mark filed as ‘URGR8’ would receive a pseudo mark of ‘YOU ARE GREAT’.Response to this notice is not required; however, to suggest additions or changes to the pseudo mark assigned to your mark, please e-mail TMDesignCodeComments@USPTO.GOV.  You must reference your application serial number within your request.  The USPTO will review the proposal and update the record, if appropriate.  For questions, please call 1-800-786-9199 to speak to a Customer Service representative.The USPTO will not send any further response to your e-mail.  Check TESS in approximately two weeks to see if the requested changes have been entered.  Requests deemed unnecessary or inappropriate will not be entered.To view this notice and other documents for this application on-line, go to  NOTE: This notice will only be available on-line the next business day after receipt of this e-mail.Pseudo marks assigned to the referenced serial number are listed below.
USPTO trademark search "for you" results
USPTO trademark search “for you” on April 2, 2017