Effective August 3, 2019, The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) enacted 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. A foreign-domiciled trademark applicant, registrant, or party – one whose permanent legal residence or principal place of business lies outside of the United States – is now required to have an attorney, licensed in the United States, to represent them in regards to any and all trademark matters.
Further, all licensed U.S. attorneys representing any trademark applicants, registrants, or parties before the USPTO, regardless of their clients’ domicile, are now required to provide additional information regarding their license (i.e. Bar Member Number and State and Year of Admission to the Bar) and to confirm they are an active member in good standing of their bar.
Practically speaking, this means that all applicants located outside of the United States are have to have a U.S. attorney represent them in their trademark applications. Domestic applicants will still be permitted to file their own trademark applications, if they so chose. Further, for both U.S. and foreign applicants, additional attorney information is required. However, the new requirements are minimal and will not substantially change the application or registration process.