It is recalled that on February 6, 2020, the Acting Commissioner for Trademarks published an Examination Guide 1-20. The Exam Guide set forth for the first time a requirement that trademark applicants and registrants reveal their personal email addresses to the Trademark Office, even in the case of an application that is represented by a US attorney. According to the Exam Guide, the Trademark Office would then publish the email address for use by spammers. The Exam Guide gave nine days’ notice of this change which would take place on Saturday, February 15.
One hundred ninety-nine trademark practitioners sent a letter to the Acting Commissioner, urging that this requirement of the Exam Guide be withdrawn. You can see the letter here.
In my blog article Trademark Office blinks on applicant email address, I reported that the Trademark Office backed down. This happened at 4:32 PM on the Friday afternoon before the Saturday effective date of the objected-to email requirement.
Instead of requiring that the email address revealed to the public be the personal email address of the applicant (an email address “regularly accessed and reviewed” by the applicant personally), the email address would be permitted to be any old email address of the applicant’s choice. This was communicated in a revised Examination Guide 1-20 dated February 14, 2020.
Now comes a letter from Acting Commissioner Hershkowitz in further response to the letter from the one hundred ninety-nine practitioners. You can read the Acting Commissioner’s letter here.
I am posting the letter now so that everyone can see it as soon as possible. Later I will publish a blog article discussing the letter in more detail.