Practice Tip: Section 2(d) & Foreign Entity Designations

The Practice Tip needs to be more specific

The problem is that the Examining Attorneys treat Appendix D as the sole and exclusive list of acceptable entities. The examples in Example 4 make clear that "corporation" is equivalent to "joint stock company" or GmbH -- but this should be stated expressly in the Practice Tip, and also at the top of Appendix D. The Appendix should indicate that any type of limited liability corporate entity can be referred to as a "corporation," or alternatively by the entity type specified for that country, or its approximate English translation. Similarly, there needs to be an express statement that any limited liability corporate entity from a British-law country can be identified as a "company," with the list of British law countries provided for convenience. This should avoid many needless Office Actions.


This Practice Tip should be shared with the Post-Registration examiners, who frequently issue Office Actions questioning maintenance documents filed by foreign entities that use inconsistent corporate designations, or use a broader term such as "corporation" when the original filing listed a specific entity such as GmbH. The same pertains to the many Office Actions issued by the Assignment Branch examiners, who claim there is a break in the chain of title, when in fact there is merely a change in how the entity type is described.



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Idea No. 125