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#USPTO : Many small businesses don’t own #domain names

An upcoming change in rules at the United States Trademark and Patent Office (USPTO) brings to light a shocking fact about domain names and small business owners.

What will soon change at the USPTO?

According to the World Trademark Review, the new guide will require email address to be submitted by all registrants and applicants, at application time.

The rule mandates that new applications “must include an email address for each applicant” even if there is an appointed attorney. This email address, which has to be monitored by the trademark applicant, will not appear in the Trademark Status and Document Retrieval (TSDR) status tab, but it will be viewable in the filed document from the TSDR public platform.

Domain names: many small businesses and entrepreneurs don’t own one – Photo by John Schnobrich on Unsplash

The article goes on to raise concerns about privacy, and references the new rules definition of “personal email” addresses to be allowed:

Additionally, there is concern over the ban on “third party email addresses,”, one question being whether this means a ban on email addresses such as ‘name@gmail.com’, ‘name@aol.com’ or ‘name@yahoo.com’, which it states “would have a profound and harmful effect on small businesses and individual applicants, many of whom do not have personal Internet domain names”.

That last statement is really shocking: Many small businesses and other individual trademark applicants, do not own or operate their distinct domain name!

It shows how far social media platforms that host professional content, such as Facebook and Instagram, have reached into modern entrepreneurs, that simply operate on third party domains.

Link to article.

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