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.