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| 1 minute read

AI Cannot (Yet) File Your Trademark Applications

The U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) has issued new guidance affirming that its existing rules regarding user accounts, access to the USPTO’s platform and data, and filing signature requirements adequately manage potential risks associated with the use of AI in connection with the preparation and filing of trademark applications and other documents with the USPTO. Unlike in the patent and copyright contexts, the nature of trademark rights do not arise from creation of a brand. Thus, it is not surprising that the USPTO has taken a different position in the trademark context regarding disclosure of AI involvement: 

While parties submitting a document to the USPTO are under a duty to review the information in the paper and correct any errors, there is not presently a general duty to inform the USPTO that an AI tool was used in the drafting of the paper unless specifically requested by the USPTO.

In line with the human authorship and human inventorship requirements in the copyright and patent contexts, however, this recent USPTO guidance confirms that, in connection with trademark practice:

  1. Human review of all filings is required under the rules of practice.
  2. The signature of a natural person on a filing is an affirmation that this human review was conducted.
  3. AI may not hold a USPTO account, and access by AI to the accounts of natural persons is circumscribed by the existing rules of practice and terms of service for the USPTO site and services.
  4. A human may not sponsor AI as a separate user.
The USPTO's rules and policies ... apply broadly, regardless of any AI assistance in preparing submissions to the USPTO. These broadly applicable rules and policies help mitigate the risks of AI assistance and require practitioners and others to exercise special care when using AI as a tool in connection with USPTO practice.


intellectual property