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What is a Domicile Address, and is it Needed, in a Trademark Application?

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  5. What is a Domicile Address, and is it Needed, in a Trademark Application?

Here’s what the USPTO says about a domicile address:

    Applicant must provide applicant’s domicile address. All applications must include the applicant’s domicile address, and domicile dictates whether an applicant is required to have an attorney who is an active member in good standing of the bar of the highest court of a U.S. state or territory represent the applicant at the USPTO. See 37 C.F.R. §§2.2(o)-(p), 2.11(a), 2.189; Requirement of U.S.-Licensed Attorney for Foreign- Domiciled Trademark Applicants & Registrants, Examination Guide 4-19, at I.A. (Rev. Sept. 2019).

    An individual applicant’s domicile is the place a person resides and intends to be the person’s principal home. 37 C.F.R. §2.2(o); Examination Guide 4-19, at I.A. A juristic entity’s domicile is the principal place of business, i.e., headquarters, where a juristic entity applicant’s senior executives or officers ordinarily direct and control the entity’s activities. 37 C.F.R. §2.2(o); Examination Guide 4-19, at I.A. An applicant whose domicile is located outside of the United States or its territories is foreign-domiciled and must be represented at the USPTO by a U.S.- licensed attorney qualified to practice before the USPTO under 37 C.F.R. §11.14. 37 C.F.R. §2.11(a).

If the trademark application lists the applicant as a juristic entity and specifies applicant’s domicile as a post office box or mail forwarding service instead of a street address, the USPTO will reject the trademark application. What they say is, “[i]n most cases, a post office box or mail forwarding service is not acceptable as a domicile address because it does not identify the location of applicant’s headquarters where the entity’s senior executives or officers ordinarily direct and control the entity’s activities. See 37 C.F.R. §§2.2(o)-(p), 2.189; Examination Guide 4-19, at I.A.3. Thus, applicant must provide its domicile street address. See 37 C.F.R. §2.189. Alternatively, an applicant may demonstrate that the listed address is, in fact, the applicant’s domicile. Examination Guide 4-19, at I.A.3.

The USPTO says this domicile address will not be disclosed to the public.

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