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USPTO Announces New Trademark Rule: Foreign Applicants Will Be Required to Have U.S. Attorney Starting in August 2019


On July 2nd, 2019, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced new regulations that will impact foreign companies and foreign individuals who are involved in trademark cases in the United States.

Under the updated rules, foreign-domiciled entities will be required to seek representation from a trademark law attorney who is licensed to practice in the United States. Here, our Miami trademark litigation lawyers explain the most important things that you need to know about the new trademark rules from the USPTO.

The New USPTO Rule: Four Key Questions Answered

Who is Affected By the Rule? 

In making this change, the USPTO notes that it is making American law consistent with the regulations in many other developed countries. The new rule requiring foreign applicants to seek representation from a U.S.-licensed attorney applies broadly. Any party that is domiciled or has its legal place of business outside of America and is a party to a trademark matter before the USPTO will be required to obtain representation from a U.S.-licensed trademark lawyer.

What Trademark Issues Require a U.S. Attorney? 

For foreign-based firms, any official matters before the USPTO will require an attorney who is licensed to practice in the United States. Specifically, this includes:

  • Trademark applications;
  • Trademark registrations; and
  • Proceedings before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.

What is the Purpose of the New Regulations?

In its press release on this issue, the USPTO states that it enacted this reform in order to better maintain the accuracy and legitimacy of trademark regulations in the United States. According to the agency, there has been an increase in ‘bad’ filings in recent years. Indeed, the USPTO highlights a number of different fraudulent and poor quality trademark submissions that it has received in recent years from foreign-domiciled entities. By requiring a U.S.-licensed lawyer, the agency hopes to alleviate this problem. Whether the rule will help to combat fraudulent trademark submissions remains to be seen. 

When Will the Rule Go Into Effect? 

Subject to federal regulations and rulemaking procedures, the new USPTO rule regarding U.S.-licensed attorneys is set to go into effect on August 3rd, 2019. All foreign entities that are impacted by the regulation should prepare accordingly. If your internationally domiciled company is filing for a trademark or is a party to an official proceeding before the USPTO, it is crucial that you seek qualified legal representation from an experienced trademark lawyer who is licensed to practice in the United States.

Get Help From Our Miami, FL Trademark Lawyers Right Away

At Pike & Lustig, LLP, our skilled Florida trademark law attorneys are committed, effective advocates for our individuals and companies. If your foreign company has questions or concerns about U.S. trademark regulations, please do not hesitate to contact us today for a completely confidential initial consultation. Our legal team is prepared to protect your rights. We have office locations in Miami and West Palm Beach.




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