A new rule by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) could result in email scraping and create a private issue, according to an analysis by JDSupra.
Trademark applications and registrations must now be filed electronically through TEAS, the report says. And the rule, which took effect Feb. 15, mandates that applicants must include a direct email address.
These email addresses will not appear in the USPTO’s Trademark Status and Document Retrieval (TSDR) ‘Status’ tab, the report continues. But they will be viewable in in the TSDR ‘Documents’ tab.
"It may not take long for email marketers and bad actors (e.g., perpetrators of confusing and fraudulent trademark notices and solicitations) to scrape and utilize these email addresses to directly contact owners who are represented by counsel," JD Supra warns.
Acceptable applicant email addresses include "a personal email address, an email address created for the purpose of communication with the USPTO, a corporate email address, or in-house counsel’s email address," JDSupra writes.
The requirement does not appear to cover existing filings.