U.S. Attorney Required for All Foreign-Domiciled Trademark Filers

October 24, 2019

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) recently announced that, starting on August 3, 2019, all foreign-domiciled trademark applicants, registrants, and parties to Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) proceedings must be represented by a licensed U.S. attorney.

The new rule applies to all trademark applicants, registrants, and parties whose permanent legal residence (for individuals) or principal place of business (for business entities) is not within the United States or its territories. It applies to ALL prosecution and contested filings after the August 3 effective date, including (1) new application fillings, responses to office actions, and all post-registration maintenance filings at the USPTO, and (2) oppositions, cancellations, and appeals before the TTAB.

For applications under the Madrid Protocol, the USPTO currently takes a lenient approach due to the lack of a mechanism at the International Bureau of the World Intellectual Property Organization by which a U.S. attorney may be designated. Thus, for the time being, the USPTO will waive the U.S. attorney requirement regarding any initial request for extension of protection to the U.S. under the Madrid Protocol. However, it will require representation of a licensed U.S. attorney for all subsequent responses, if any, to the USPTO on that application.


美国专利商标局最近宣布,自201983日起,所有非美国的商标申请人、注册人和参与美国商标审判和上诉委员会诉讼的当事人必须委托有美国执业许可的律师代为处理其在美国的商标事务。

新规适用于所有永久合法住所(如果是自然人)或主要营业地点(如果是商业主体)在美国境外的申请人、注册人和当事人。其适用范围也涵盖商标申请的所有事宜和在美国商标审判和上诉委员会诉讼的所有事宜,包括 (1)新的商标申请,回复审查意见(若申请已在新规生效前递交),以及对注册商标后续的维护和续展;(2)商标异议,申请无效,以及针对审查意见向美国商标审判和上诉委员上诉等等。

而美国专利商标局目前对于通过马德里体系指定美国的国际注册申请则比较宽松。这主要是因为在现有的马德里体系下,世界知识产权组织国际局并没有相应的机制来让申请人在递交申请时就委托美国律师。因此,美国专利商标局目前还没有要求申请人在最初递交申请时就委托美国律师来办理。但如果商标在申请后续需要答复审查意见或处理其他事宜的,申请人必须委托美国律师来办理。

如果您有任何关于美国商标的事务需要协助,请联系我们。


For assistance with such foreign-based U.S. trademark matters, please contact:

Yan “Linda” Yang
Associate
615.933.6460
lyang@taylorenglish.com

Micheline Kelly Johnson
Partner
678.336.7204
mkjohnson@taylorenglish.com

Disclaimer – The information in this law alert is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. No attorney-client relationship has been or will be formed by any communication(s) to, from or with the law alert or author. The opinions expressed are those of the author, and decisions relating to the content belong to the author.

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