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CONSTANTIN BRANCUSI

USPTO Law change requires U.S. attorneys to represent foreign trademark applicants

29.10.2019


A new rule was formally adopted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office which states that all foreign trademark applicants must be represented by U.S. counsel went into effect on August 3rd 2019.

To sum up the new rule, all foreign applicants seeking trademark protection in the U.S. from that date on must be represented by U.S. counsel before the USPTO. In order to avoid issues with your application, you should research a qualified U.S. counsel to assist you with the application or, potentially, a subsequent Office Action. Also, the rule applies to Canadian trademark attorneys who will no longer be able to represent their clients starting with this date. Thus, the USPRO regulations state that, in order to be eligible for recognition as a secondary appointed practitioner, a licensed attorney must be appointed.

The main reason this rule was enforced is that many foreign applications were not represented or guided by U.S. counsels. It thus followed that, because foreign applicants are most likely unfamiliar with the U.S. Trademark Rules of practice, the legal claims they were making before the USPTO led to an increase in unauthorized practice and became very burdensome for the US Office.

That new requirement is similar to those which currently exist in countries such as Chile, Brazil, the People’s Republic of China, South Africa, Japan, or even in the European Union. The only exceptions to this new requirement are the owners of U.S. registrations who file Section 8 or Section 71 declarations of use, or Section 9 renewal applications, prior to August 3rd 2019.

Overall, it may be said that this new rule will help those who are unfamiliar with the U.S. Trademark Rules of practice, as well as it will be a timesaving and money-saving method, especially for foreign trademark applicants, but also for U.S. Attorneys.

 

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