From August 3, 2019, non-residents of the United States will be able to apply for registration of trademarks and patents to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) only with an attorney who is licensed to practice law in the United States.

Without the involvement of a US lawyer, foreign-domiciled parties will also be unable to file a case for Trademark Trial and Appeal Board proceedings (TTAB).

According to the US Patent and Trademark Office, the new rules will improve the accuracy of submissions to the USPTO. The Office stressed that similar rules apply in many countries around the world.

Applications that were submitted with no local representative prior to the entry into force of the new rules will be accepted by the Office. However, if the USPTO issued an office action before the effective date of the new rule, it will be possible to respond only by appointing a US-qualified attorney.

Cases in the US Trademark and Appeals Commission will continue to proceedings only if the non-resident party has a representative of a U.S.-licensed attorney.

“Foreign-domiciled” applicant is an individual with a permanent legal residence outside the United States or its territories or an entity with its principal place of business (headquarters) outside the United States or its territories.