Must I Be a U.S. Citizen to Obtain a Federal Trademark Registration?


US Citizenship Is Not Required to File a Trademark Application

US citizenship is not required for Federal trademark registration with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). An underlying reason for this is that an applicant for trademark registration with the USPTO need not be an individual.

That is, an applicant may be a business organization or other entity, and such entities are not “citizens” of any state. They are organized under a state or country’s particular laws and/or domiciled for legal purposes in one jurisdiction or another, but they cannot be “citizens.” 

Yet, such entities are entitled to apply for trademark registration. 

The question thus becomes, really, what exactly is required with regard to citizenship in the trademark registration process. 

Detroit Michigan Trademark Attorney: Federal Trademark Applicants Must Disclose Citizenship

Individuals applying for trademark registration, notwithstanding the above, must still disclose their citizenship in their application. 

If the individual holds dual citizenship, he or she must choose which citizenship will be printed in the Official Gazette and on the registration certificate. 

If the individual is not a citizen of any country, a statement concerning this fact must be provided. 

Business organizations, partnerships, and other entities must disclose the state or foreign country under which the entity has been organized. 

US partnerships must disclose the names and citizenship of all general partners. Foreign partnerships are not required to disclose this information given the varying legal rules concerning partnerships among foreign jurisdictions. 

Joint applicants or joint ventures filing applications are required to disclose the citizenship or US state or foreign jurisdiction under which each party is organized. 

The requirements of disclosure are further complicated with regard to applications for international registration. 

Detroit Michigan Trademark Attorney: US Attorneys Are Now Required for Application Regardless of the Applicant’s Citizenship

Effective August 1, 2019, foreign applicants will, however, now be required by the USPTO to retain a US attorney to represent them before the USPTO. Canadian and other foreign attorneys or patent agents will no longer be allowed to communicate with the USPTO or represent their foreign clients before the USPTO. 

Detroit Michigan Trademark Attorney: US Citizenship and Trademark Applications, The Bottom Line

The bottom-line for trademark applicants is that it is essentially that you collaborate with a knowledgeable US-based trademark registration lawyer for your US trademark applications. The requirements of citizenship or organization disclosure can be complicated features of a trademark registration application. 

Noble Path Trademark Law is a boutique US law practice located in Metro Detroit and assisting enterprises in every industry with trademark registration, trademark renewal, trademark monitoring, and Office Action refusal response matters.

We offer virtual consultations, premium customer service, and the expertise you need to maximize your odds of trademark registration success.

Click the “Register Your Trademark” button below to schedule your initial consultation and to begin your brand protection journey.