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Posts Tagged ‘FOIA’

Via a recent FOIA request, I was able to obtain copies of the correspondence between the USPTO’s Office of the Solicitor and the outfit that was known as U.S. Trademark Registration Office. U.S. Trademark Registration Office caused much confusion during a few weeks earlier this year as they sent out a trademark scam letter that was particularly troubling.

The USPTO was able to get U.S. Trademark Registration Office to comply with its demands and change its name and its mailings. However, it looks like the company was not punished in any way for their activities.

The USPTO should be commended for handling the situation quickly, efficiently, and – most important – effectively.

See below for the FOIA response from the USPTO and the correspondence between the USPTO and the U.S. Trademark Registration Office.

USPTO correpondence with U.S. Trademark Registration Office

Response to F-12-00215 Cover Letter

 

I recently obtained additional from the USPTO in response to a FOIA request regarding the 2011 Trademark Litigation Tactics request for comments. These comments include several companies including Intel, several individuals, several attorneys, and several organizations.

Scribd collection: http://www.scribd.com/my_document_collections/3019644

FOIA Response Cover Letter from USPTO:
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For the original batch of the FOIA documents received from the USPTO, see: http://www.scribd.com/my_document_collections/2936780

For my comments on the USPTO study, see Trademark Litigation Tactics Study to Congress: Hakuna Matata (it means no worries) 

Has the USPTO failed to comply with the law requiring it to report to Congress regarding trademark litigation tactics?

On March 17, 2010, the Trademark Technical and Conforming Amendment Act of 2010 became law [Pub. L. No. 111-146, 124 Stat. 66 (2010).] Under the law the Secretary of Commerce was required to “report to the Committee on the Judiciary of the Senate and the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives”. The report and study were to be provided “Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment” of the Act – March 17, 2011.

The study was conducted over the winter by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office – part of the Department of Commerce – and became known as the “trademark litigation tactics” study. The study appears to have been due to congress more than 3 weeks ago. To date, the USPTO has not issued any public statement regarding completion of the study. Nor has it published any study or any of the public comments made in response to a “Request for Comments.”  (NOTE – I have published those comments obtained via a FOIA request and have submitted an additional FOIA request for any missing comments.)

Via a recent FOIA request I made to the USPTO requesting a copy of the study, I obtained the following information last week in an April 5, 2011 letter from the USPTO FOIA Office:

”At this time, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) identified no records responsive to your request. The record you are requesting is not yet completed and it is not yet available for release to the public.”

It is possible that the USPTO/Secretary of Commerce has submitted the Study (though the FOIA response would then be incorrect and the USPTO has not commented on or published the Study) or that the USPTO/Secretary of Commerce obtained some sort of extension (though no such announcement has been made by Congress or the USPTO or the Department of Commerce). But in an administration that boasts transparency, why has there been a lack of information about the completion of the study?

The entire FOIA request regarding the study to Congress and the USPTO response are provided below.

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As I detailed yesterday, I submitted a FOIA request to the USPTO for communications and comments regarding the “Trademark Litigation Tactics” study (a.k.a. “bullies study”).

The contents of the box of materials provided by the USPTO was not entirely in order. I have pieced it together and organized the materials as best as I could. Comments come from businesses, individuals, attorneys and organizations. There are also some inter-USPTO email communications about the study, though nothing very substantive.

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Since the request for comments deadline was extended several times by the USPTO, the materials received from the FOIA request do not include all comments.  I previously blogged about Trademark lawyer groups weighing in on “litigation tactics” study.

What do you find most interesting about the comments? In a few days I will post what I find to be the highlights.

I recently made a request under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to the USPTO for comments and communications related to the Trademark Litigation Tactics survey (a.k.a. “trademark bullies” study).  The USPTO’s report, under the law passed last year, was recently due to Congress. To date, neither the USPTO nor Congress has published the study.

With an interest in obtaining as much information as possible about the study and the comments, on January 25, 2011 I submitted the following FOIA request to the USPTO:

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A few weeks back, after paying a copying fee to the USPTO, I got back this a package containing about 300 pages of materials, including the cover letter below from the USPTO FOIA officer:

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Tomorrow, I will post links to the comments which were included in the FOIA package from the USPTO, including those from:

- John A. Clifford (Attorney)

- eBay

- Fancaster

- GoDaddy

- Internet Commerce Association

- Internet Commerce Coalition

- Lara Pearson (Attorney)

- Professor J. Thomas McCarthy

- Rock Art Brewery

- Victor Mosely

- and more