Trademark rule requires domicile address for all filers and also … – United States Patent and Trademark Office


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See the final rule and examination guide.
This rule is effective as of August 3, 2019.
The rule is intended to:
Businesses rely on the U.S. trademark register to make important legal decisions about their brands. In order to maintain the accuracy and integrity of the register for the benefit of all its users, the USPTO must have the appropriate tools to enforce compliance by all applicants and registrants. An increasing number of foreign-domiciled trademark applicants, registrants, and parties have been filing inaccurate and possibly fraudulent submissions with the USPTO that do not comply with U.S. trademark law or the USPTO’s rules. Many appear to be doing so on the advice or with the assistance of foreign individuals and entities who are not authorized to represent trademark applicants, registrants, or parties before the USPTO (i.e., they are engaging in the unauthorized practice of law). In order to help ensure that foreign-domiciled applicants, registrants, and parties receive registrations that comply with U.S. legal requirements, we are ensuring that they will have the advice of an attorney licensed to practice law in the U.S. 
A significant number of trademark offices around the world require foreign-domiciled applicants and registrants to obtain local counsel as a condition for filing papers with those trademark offices. In order to ameliorate the abuse of the U.S. trademark registration system, we are now requiring U.S. counsel representation as a condition for foreign-domiciled applicants, registrants, and parties to file papers with the USPTO, as well.
If you are foreign-domiciled, you are required to use a U.S.-licensed attorney to file your trademark-related submissions with the USPTO. This requirement also applies to all Canadian applicants, registrants, and parties.
Find out more information about how to hire a U.S.-licensed trademark attorney.
A “foreign-domiciled” trademark applicant, registrant, or party is one who does not have a domicile in the United States or its territories. An individual’s domicile is the place the person resides and intends to be the person’s principal home. An entity’s domicile is its principal place of business (headquarters) where the entity’s senior executives or officers ordinarily direct and control the entity’s activities. 
Generally, no. You will need a U.S.-licensed attorney to file on your behalf for:
Submissions made on paper or made using the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board’s Electronic System for Trademark Trial and Appeals (ESTTA) are subject to the same requirements.
For foreign-domiciled applicants filing applications using the Madrid Protocol under Trademark Act Section 66(a), beginning at the time of any provisional (or other) refusal (office action) U.S.-licensed attorney representation will be required. Section 66(a) applicants file their initial application with the International Bureau of the World Intellectual Property Organization. The International Bureau transmits that application to the USPTO. There currently is no ability to designate an attorney on the International Bureau’s forms.
Trademark submissions* made after the effective date of this rule will require U.S.-licensed attorneys representing applicants, registrants, or parties to provide all of the following:
*Electronic submissions are filed online through TEAS.

**Attorney bar information will not be made publicly available.
If you filed your client’s submission with the USPTO without your bar information before the effective date of this rule, we will generally accept that submission. You will be required to provide this information in electronic submissions filed after August 3, 2019.  Failure to include bar information in paper submissions filed after August 3, 2019 may result in an office action requiring this information.
The USPTO has learned that U.S.-licensed attorneys are receiving emails offering to pay for the use of their attorney identification information in trademark filings. These solicitations appear to be an attempt to circumvent our rule requiring U.S. counsel representation at the USPTO. 
Agreeing to such arrangements could be aiding the unauthorized practice of law and could violate our rules, including the Rules of Professional Conduct, 37 C.F.R. Part 11. Under our rules, attorneys must:
Sanctions for violating these rules may include striking the filing, terminating the proceedings, and referring the attorney to the USPTO’s Office of Enrollment and Discipline (OED) for appropriate action. In addition, attorneys may be disciplined for such violations, including exclusion or suspension from practice before the USPTO, reprimand, censure, or probation. Attorneys disciplined by the USPTO also may be subject to discipline by their state bar.
If you receive any solicitation requesting use of your attorney identification information with respect to trademark matters, please forward it to
Canadian patent attorneys and agents and trademark attorneys and agents are subject to the rule.

To learn about our examination procedures in light of these new requirements, read our exam guide, “Requirement of U.S.-Licensed Attorney for Foreign-domiciled Trademark Applicants and Registrants.” 
TEAS and TEASi forms have new requirements and have been updated to comply with this rule. Review the new requirements and updates.
Email with any questions.
This guidance also serves as a small entity compliance guide for purposes of Section 212 of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996.
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