Thursday, April 7, 2016

Does A Federal Trademark Applicant Need Physical Presence in U.S.?

Dear Rich: Can a non-U.S. citizen obtain a federal trademark application?
Yes, a non-U.S. citizen or company can register a trademark in the U.S. However, if the foreign-applicant doesn't reside or have a physical presence in the U.S., the applicant will have to  appoint a domestic U.S. representative -- that is, someone residing in the U.S. (typically a trademark attorney) who is appointed to receive notices and correspondence regarding the trademark and application. Keep in mind we're only talking about applications for U.S. registration -- that is the foreign citizen or company must be using the mark on goods or services within U.S. borders (or have a good faith intent to use it). A non-U.S. citizen or company that has registrations already issued in the applicant’s home country (that cover the same mark and essentially the same goods and/or services) can also seek federal registration under Section 44(e) of the Lanham Act.