What do I have in common with Robert De Niro?
What he and I have in common is that we have each obtained from the Commissioner for Trademarks a granted petition giving us permission to use only a post office box in our trademark filings. Each of us has been excused from having to reveal to the Commissioner where we sleep at night.
The alert trademark practitioner will appreciate that there are various levels of privacy involved with the current Trademark Office practices that inquire into the question of where the applicant or registrant sleeps at night.
As a general matter any trademark applicant or registrant is required to reveal to the Commissioner for Trademarks where he or she sleeps at night.
If you merely don’t want the Trademark Office to make it easy for members of the public to find your answer, you can make use of the CAR form. On this form, you can check a box and you provide an address that is not your “where you sleep at night” address, that gets published in TSDR. And you reveal your “where you sleep at night” address to the Commissioner in a separate place in the CAR form. It is not clear who gets to see your “where you sleep at night” address. One wonders whether for example the Trademark Office may routinely forward this “where you sleep at night” information to the Department of Commerce as described in the Federal Register notice of July 11, 2019.
But if you file a petition (and pay $100) and if it gets granted, then you get a free pass on having to tell anyone at the Trademark Office where you sleep at night.
Put plainly, you can protect your privacy and safety, so long as you do not mind paying $100 and so long as you can figure out what to say that will lead to the Commissioner granting your petition.
Please post a comment below with your reaction to all of this.