USPTO Now Masking Email Addresses in Trademark Filings

April 24, 2020Alerts

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has addressed a privacy concern that arose in February just as new trademark filing rules were set to take effect.

As outlined in our prior alert, the revised Examination Guide 1-20 required effective February 15, 2020 that trademark applications and registrations include an address for the trademark owner that is publicly available and viewable in documents filed electronically through TEAS, the Trademark Electronic Application System.

This change in the rules raised concerns about the potential misuse of a trademark owner’s email address which could be used for unwanted solicitations. The USPTO responded by vowing to explore the possibility of masking email addresses. It has now done that.

In a Trademark Alert issued on April 24, 2020, the USPTO advised that in view of the aforementioned concerns, it is now masking the owner’s email addresses and that the email addresses will no longer be visible or viewable in documents filed electronically through TEAS.

In summary, the trademark owner’s email address is still required but will no longer be visible.

This is a positive development that should reduce the number of unwanted solicitations received by trademark owners.