USPTO To Require U.S. Licensed Attorney for TrademarksJuly 2, 2019

On July 2, 2019, the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) released a rule related to foreign-domiciled trademark applicants, registrants, and parties to Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) proceedings. The rule, which takes effect on August 3, 2019, states that all foreign-domiciled parties must be represented at the USPTO by an attorney who is licensed to practice law in the United States. This means an attorney in active membership and in good standing of a bar of the highest court of a U.S. state, commonwealth, or territory. A statement attesting to this will be required with any electronic submission. For more information, please visit the USPTO website.

Whom the Rule Applies To

A “foreign-domiciled” trademark applicant, registrant, or party is either or both:

  • An individual with a permanent legal residence outside the United States or its territories.
  • An entity with its principal place of business (headquarters) outside the United States or its territories.

It is also worth noting that any submission prior to the August 3 effective date will be accepted. However, any subsequent Office Action after the effective date will require a U.S.-based attorney to respond. Any TTAB proceedings involving a party not represented by a U.S.-licensed attorney will be suspended until a U.S.-licensed attorney has been identified as representing the foreign-domiciled party.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to an Intellectual Property attorney at MVS. We are capable of handling all trademark needs, and will work with you to develop a strategy for handling any application or TTAB proceeding.

Luke T. Mohrhauser is an Intellectual Property Attorney & Member in the Mechanical Patent Practice Group . For more information, visit the MVS website, or email Luke.

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