What is a Domicile Address and Why Does the USPTO Require It?

If you are applying for a trademark registration with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), you will need to provide some information about yourself or your business entity, such as your name, email address, mailing address, and domicile address. But what is a domicile address and why does the USPTO require it? In this blog post, we will explain what a domicile address is, how it differs from a mailing address, and why it is important for your trademark application or registration.

a row of U.S. mailboxes

If you are applying for a trademark registration with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), you will need to provide some information about yourself or your business entity, such as your name, email address, mailing address, and domicile address. But what is a domicile address and why does the USPTO require it? In this blog post, we will explain what a domicile address is, how it differs from a mailing address, and why it is important for your trademark application or registration.

What is a domicile address?

A domicile address is a permanent address with a substantial connection to the applicant or registrant. It is the place where you have your true, fixed, and permanent home and where you intend to return whenever you are absent. A domicile address can be different from a mailing address, which is the address where you receive mail and correspondence from the USPTO.

For example, if you live in New York but have a P.O. box in Delaware, your domicile address is in New York and your mailing address is in Delaware. If you are a business entity, such as a corporation or a partnership, your domicile address is the place where you have your principal place of business, or if your business does not have a physical location, your permanent address.

Why does the USPTO require a domicile address?

The USPTO requires a domicile address for several reasons:

  • To determine if you need a U.S.-licensed attorney: Your domicile address will determine whether you are required to be represented before the USPTO by an attorney who is licensed to practice law in the United States. If you are a foreign-domiciled trademark applicant, registrant, or party to Trademark Trial and Appeal Board proceedings, you must appoint and be represented by a U.S.-licensed attorney. If you are a U.S.-domiciled trademark applicant, registrant, or party, you are not required to hire a U.S.-licensed attorney, but it is strongly encouraged that you do so.

  • To verify your identity and eligibility: The USPTO may request confirmation of your domicile address at any time to verify your identity and eligibility for trademark registration. If you fail to provide or update your domicile address, or if you provide false or misleading information, your trademark application or registration may be rejected, abandoned, or cancelled by the USPTO.

  • To protect the integrity of the U.S. trademark register: The USPTO requires accurate and current information from all trademark applicants and registrants to maintain the integrity of the U.S. trademark register. The register is a valuable resource for businesses and consumers who rely on it to make informed decisions about their brands. Providing your domicile address helps the USPTO ensure that only legitimate and qualified trademark owners are registered on the register.

How do you provide or update your domicile address?

You can provide or update your domicile address by using the Change Address or Representation (CAR) form on the USPTO website. You can use this form to change your email address, mailing address, or domicile address for an application or registration. You can also use this form to change your attorney or domestic representative information.

You should keep your domicile address current throughout the ownership of your applied-for mark. If your domicile address changes after you file your trademark application or registration, you should update it as soon as possible using the CAR form.

Conclusion

Providing your domicile address is an important requirement for your trademark application or registration with the USPTO. Your domicile address helps the USPTO determine if you need a U.S.-licensed attorney, verify your identity and eligibility, and protect the integrity of the U.S. trademark register.

If you need assistance with providing or updating your domicile address, or if you need a U.S.-licensed attorney to represent you before the USPTO, contact us today for a complimentary consultation. We have extensive experience and expertise in trademark law and we can help you with all your trademark needs.