18
Aug/04

Putting Colin Powell Out of The Trademark Business


Would you believe that Colin Powell signs off on some of my clients’ non-U.S. trademark applications?  I have his robo-signature in my files.  He certifies the authenticity of the seal of a state’s secretary of state, who authenticates the seal of the county clerk who certified the authenticity of the notarial certificate in the name of my paralegal, who notarized the signature of an officer of the client on the power of attorney.

The document’s trip to Washington easily doubles the cost of filing a trademark. 

Jurisdictions that do not require such authentication at the application process (i.e. U.S., EEC and Japan) do not appear to be overrun by a forged power of attorney problem.  Would anyone like to make a cogent defense of the process?

Update: I should note that The Hague Convention does save Colin Powell some time by eliminating U.S. State Department approval for documents filed inproceedings in treaty members.  However (1) not all countries belong to Hague; and (2) going to a state secretary of state for an apostille still seems unnecessary at the application level.  My real question is: why is there a presumption of invalidity for powers of attorney for all trademark applications in these jurisdictions such that a sworn statement before a notary is insufficient?  Why not require authentication of the notary’s credentials only if there is reason to question the declaration made by the applicant’s representative?

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