This post is an update. Read the original post here, the first addendum here, the second addendum here and the third addendum here.
Throughout 2022 we have reported on the plans of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) to require filers’ biometric data collected through a private firm, ID.me, and its subsequent postponement of the initial effective date. The USPTO has now announced that effective August 6, 2022 identity verification will be mandatory for USPTO.gov account holders to file trademark applications through the Trademark Electronic Application System (“TEAS”) and TEAS international (“TEASi”).
The positive news for privacy advocates is that the online option will now automatically delete the account holder’s selfie 24 hours after account creation. Account holders who had verified their USPTO.gov account through ID.me prior to June 30 can now choose to delete their biometric data previously stored on the ID.me website. A new option for filers that does not use facial recognition technology or collect biometric data and a paper verification option will also be available.
It remains to be seen if this new identity verification will deter scams and fraudulent activities related to trademark registrations, and Lutzker & Lutzker will keep a close watch on the success of the program and its impact on legitimate filers.