U.S. News | USPTO Announces New Rule Requiring Foreign Trademark Applicants to Appoint U.S. Attorneys

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The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), earlier this month, announced a new rule requiring all foreign-domiciled trademark applicants, registrants, and parties to Trademark Trial and Appeal Board proceedings to be represented by an attorney who is licensed to practice law in the United States. The rule will be effective from August 3, 2019.

The requirement applies to all trademark applicants, registrants, and parties whose permanent legal residence or principal place of business is outside the United States. These applicants, registrants, and parties are required to have a U.S.-licensed attorney represent them at the USPTO in all trademark matters.

Additionally, U.S.-licensed attorneys representing anyone before the USPTO in trademark matters are required to confirm they are an active member in good standing of their bar and to provide their bar membership information.

“Businesses rely on the U.S. trademark register to make important legal decisions about their brands. In order to maintain the accuracy and integrity of the register, for the benefit of all its users, the USPTO must have the appropriate tools to enforce compliance by all applicants and registrants,” said Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO Andrei Iancu. “This rule is a significant step in combatting fraudulent submissions.”

“Many other countries worldwide have had this requirement for decades,” said USPTO Commissioner for Trademarks Mary Boney Denison. “We believe that this new rule will help improve the quality of submissions to the USPTO.”

This new trademark rule has an effective date of August 3, 2019. For a more thorough understanding of this new federal trademark law, please visit the rule page on the USPTO website.

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About Ufuoma Akpotaire 247 Articles
Ufuoma is a Senior Editor and Director of Regulatory Policy at NLIPW. She assists clients in the protection of copyrights, trademarks and patents. She counsels clients regarding validity and infringement matters and has experience acting against the infringement of IP and addressing counterfeit issues. She holds a Masters degree (LL.M.) from Columbia Law School, New York and a law degree from the University of Nigeria (LL.B. Honors). She is admitted to practice law in Nigeria and in the State of New York. Ufuoma cut her teeth in the intellectual property practice groups of some of the largest law firms in Nigeria and has years of experience working with major non-profit organizations in New York. Email: uakpotaire@nlipw.com

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