The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has announced a new Trademark Rule, which requires all applicants, registrants, or parties for Trademark Application whose domicile isn’t located within the US or its territories to be represented by a qualified attorney licensed to practice law in the US. This rule applies to all trademark applicants or parties whose permanent legal place of residence or business is not within the US.

Furthermore, the licensed attorneys in the US who will be representing the trademark matters on behalf of the foreign applicants before the USPTO are required to confirm that they are an active member in good standing of their bar along with providing their bar membership information.

The Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property (IP) and Director of the USPTO, Andrei Iancu, stated that organizations and businesses depend on the US Trademark Registration to make significant legitimate decisions about their brand’s entity. He further mentioned that it is imperative for them to have suitable tools to enforce compliance by all applicants for maintaining the integrity and accuracy of the registration process. Moreover, he also said this rule would prove to be a noteworthy step in combating fraudulent entries.

Mary Boney Denison, the USPTO Commissioner for Trademarks, said that many different nations worldwide are having this prerequisite for decades now and this new rule will help in improving the nature and quality of applications submitted to the USPTO.

This new trademark rule will be in effect from August 3, 2019, in the US.