A new requirement for U.S. trademark filings could clean up the submission pool for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and drum up some business for American attorneys.
On July 2, the USPTO finalized a rule that would require foreign entities to be represented by a U.S.-licensed attorney in all trademark filings and matters. These would include not just submissions for new trademarks but also proceedings before the USPTO’s Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, which determines a party’s right to register a trademark.
The rule, effective Aug. 3, is expected to curb an influx of low-quality or fraudulent trademark filings coming from entities based overseas, particularly from China. It will also drive more entities toward stateside practitioners positioned to accommodate those cli- ents, attorneys say.
The USPTO is instituting the rule as a step toward “combating fraudulent submissions,” USPTO Director Andrei Iancu said in a press release.