The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) recently revised a rule that now requires trademark applicants to include an email address in their trademark application, even if they’re represented by an attorney.
This is a massive departure from the original rule in which a law firm could provide their own email address, rather than publicly share their client’s address.
Given the prevalence of unwanted marketing materials and scams that trademark applicants already receive by mail, this rule change subjects clients to additional solicitations through email.
Despite protests by trademark attorneys on behalf of their client’s privacy, the USPTO went ahead and implemented the rule. Now, we are seeing the repercussions.
On February 26th, our firm received an email from a freelance worker claiming he could provide a list of email addresses for individuals that have filed trademark applications. He was able to develop a way to compile the data effortlessly within a few weeks of the rule change.
This is exactly the sort of issue many attorneys were worried the new rule change would incite.
In an effort to protect our clients, we are asking the United States Patent and Trademark Office to listen to our concerns. There is no need to require a client’s email address when they are represented by an attorney in a trademark application. It unnecessarily exposes people to scams, and this rule should be abandoned.