Beginning February 15, 2020, all trademark applications must list an email address for the applicant, in addition to a lawyer’s email. Otherwise, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) will not accept an application or give a priority date. Under PTO rules, the applicant must submit their email address, not an agent’s or attorney’s email. Trademark owners should determine who will be the named person responsible for receiving PTO emails. Companies may want to set up a special email address to receive messages and should monitor that account. Trademark registrants will need to watch for messages from “uspto.gov” and not have spam filters block those correspondences. The downside is that spammers may send misleading emails and requests for unnecessary fee payments. The purpose of this new rule is to ensure that once a mark is registered, the PTO can contact the registrant, in cases such as a third party’s petition to cancel a registered mark. Compounding this need is that once a mark is registered, the PTO does not recognize the lawyer who handled the application. Current registrations will not be impacted, but registrants should add their email address to PTO records at their earliest opportunity.
Ned T. Himmelrich
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