As of early August, all Irish and Northern Irish persons and entities (whose permanent legal residence or principal place of business is outside the U.S.) are required to be represented by a licensed U.S. attorney in good standing in all matters before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. This is a significant change for Irish and Northern Irish companies with IP registrations in the US, especially those protecting their brands.
This new rule applies to (i) new application filings and subsequent filings in pending applications; (ii) maintenance filings in connection with existing registrations; and (iii) ex parte appeals and contested proceedings before the TTAB, including, opposition and cancellation actions.
Irish and Northern Irish applicants, registrants and parties now need to engage a licensed U.S. attorney to file submissions on their behalf.
If you have any questions about the impact of this changed rule, contact me –AGG has a great IP practice that represents a number of Irish and Northern Irish businesses on US IP matters.