New USPTO rule could mean more spam for trademark applicants

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What is the new rule from USPTO?

February 15, 2020 was the effective date of the new rule from United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) amending the regulations on electronic trademark filings. According to the rule, all filings must be made electronically, and all applications will now need to include an email address for the applicant.

Prior to this rule, the application only required an email address for the applicant’s counsel of record. The USPTO state that this change is needed to accommodate circumstances where legal representation ends – sounds reasonable, right?

Well, not exactly.

This new rule has been met by a lot of criticism as it raises some privacy issues, along with a potential for more spam. Anyone who has experience with trademark filings is all too familiar with the scam letters that are sent to applicants – and we know that there are a lot of applicants that actually fall victim to these scams.

Now that applicant email addresses must be included with applications, they will be accessible via the TSDR documents tab on the http://tsdr.uspto.gov/ website –meaning that these applicants will potentially (probably) get hit with twice the amount of scam letters (via mail and email), therefore potentially increasing the likelihood of applicants falling victim to these scams.

For more information about the implications of this new rule or for any other enquiries, please contact us.