Q: Can I provide a mailing address that is different from my domicile address when applying for or registering a trademark with the USPTO?
A: Yes, you can provide a mailing address that is a post-office box, “care of” (c/o) address, address provided by a mail forwarding service, or similar variation. However, these types of addresses usually do not identify the location of a person’s residence or a juristic entity’s headquarters, which is required for a domicile address. If you list such an address as your domicile or do not provide a street address at all, you will be required to provide a street address. Alternatively, you can demonstrate that the listed address is your actual domicile.
Q: What happens if I list a non-street address as my domicile address?
A: If you are an unrepresented U.S. citizen and list a non-street address as your owner address, the examining attorney may contact you to obtain your domicile address and may make the change through an examiner’s amendment, if appropriate. If you add a non-U.S. street address as your domicile, the USPTO will follow the procedures outlined in the Trademark Manual of Examining Procedure (TMEP) §601.01(a). If you add a U.S. street address, the USPTO will follow the procedures in TMEP §601.01(b). If you do not amend your listed domicile to a street address and cannot demonstrate that the listed address is your domicile, the examining attorney or post-registration specialist will issue a final action or second action maintaining the domicile requirement and any other unresolved refusals or requirements.
Q: Is a street address required for all applicants and registrants?
A: No, a street address is not required for U.S. government entities or federally recognized American Indian and Alaska Native tribes with a U.S. post-office box address.
Q: What is the requirement for providing a domicile address to the USPTO?
A: An applicant or registrant must provide and keep current the address of their domicile, as defined in 37 C.F.R. § 2.2(o), and inform the USPTO of any changes to that address.
Q: How can I update my domicile address with the USPTO?
A: You can update your domicile address with the USPTO by using the Change Address or Representative form through the Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS).
Q: Can I keep my domicile address private?
A: In most TEAS forms, you have the option to specify a publicly viewable mailing address and a separate, hidden domicile address. To keep your domicile address private, you must provide a different mailing address and enter your domicile address in the dedicated “Domicile Address” fields on the Owner Information page of the TEAS form.
Q: Is it possible to request a waiver of the requirement to make my address public?
A: In exceptional cases, an individual applicant or registrant who does not have a separate mailing address may request a waiver of the requirement to make their address public by filing a Petition to the Director through the TEAS form. If granted, the applicant must also provide an address where they can receive mail. However, this petition process does not extend the time for responding to an outstanding Office action or other statutory deadline.
Q: How will the examining attorney handle my private domicile address in an Office action?
A: If an Office action is being issued that questions the validity of a domicile address that was kept private, the examining attorney should not disclose the exact address in the action. However, if evidence is being attached to support the inquiry, the examining attorney may include evidence that identifies the address if necessary. The applicant may then later petition the USPTO to have that information redacted.