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The 2016 National Trademark Expo will be October 21st and 22nd at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium on the National Mall in Washington, DC.

The guest speaker at the opening ceremony will be Under Armour’s President of Management & Innovation.

The two day event will feature more than 20 exhibitors, educational presentations, outdoor attractions, costumed characters, children’s activities, and more. For full details, see the USPTO’s webpage: About the USPTO’s National Trademark Expo.

Our firm is proud to have three client’s exhibiting this year!

  • ® (City of Falls Church (Virginia) Economic Development Authority)
  • MUSICAL PAIRING®
  • ®

 

See you at the Expo!

The USPTO asked users to submit comments regarding proposed changes to the formatting of online declarations that are part of trademark application and renewal filings.

We submitted the following comments: 

[Note that you can submit comments, comment on other submissions, or “upvote” them to indicate support]

Comments regarding proposed changes to declaration format

It appears that the USPTO wishes to increase the “solemnity” of the trademark application declarations in response to the Section 8 & 71 pilot project that revealed more than half of all renewals included at least partially overbroad statements of continued use. Considering that these declarations are already made under penalty of perjury, I am not sure how big an impact the increasing solemnity might have on the problem.

Even so, it seems that the PTO believes the issue is not the seriousness of the language itself, but instead that signatories may not be carefully reading and appreciating the significance of the attestations they are making. I wholeheartedly agree. The best solution, however, is not merely to restructure the paragraphs of the declaration, but to restructure the way that all text is presented throughout the TEAS forms. The declaration is just one of myriad blocks of text and warnings appearing throughout the form. The solemnity of the declaration, especially to inexperienced users, is obscured not because it is a large block of text, but because it is one of many paragraphs of legalese spread throughout the TEAS forms.

Users filling out a form within TEAS are confronted with numerous long blocks of text and various warnings, many of which are presented in garish, hard-to-read red fonts. Many of these blocks of text appear even when they are not relevant to the particular needs or choices of the user. While experienced TEAS users know what to look for, a novice user must painstakingly filter through each block of text to determine which are relevant. Nothing distinguishes those that are important from those that are not. As a result, the declarations can easily get lost in the shuffle.

If the PTO wants to ensure the solemnity of the declarations, they should start by changing the way text in general is presented throughout the forms. Distinguishing the declarations from the rest of the form would substantially increase the weight and attention users give them.

As the PTO begins the process of updating all TEAS forms, I hope it is mindful of this presentation issue. Streamlining the forms will make them more understandable and user friendly. Although the PTO must be thorough in providing information on TEAS forms for the sake of novice users, there are ways to prevent the sheer volume to information from becoming unintelligible walls of text. Perhaps the PTO might even consider multiple versions of the TEAS forms for users with differing degrees of experience.

– Erik M Pelton & John C Heinbockel on behalf of Erik M. Pelton & Associates, PLLC

For all of the comments, including those submitted by other practitioners, see: http://uspto-tmep.ideascale.com/

 

The USPTO recently asked for public comments regarding proposed changes to renewal filings, namely a program whereby 10% of submissions may be required to submit additional evidence of use beyond the current requirement of one specimen per International Class of goods and/or services.

Our firm submitting the following comments:

Others, including major IP associations, submitted comments as well. Many of the comments supported the program, many expressed concerns about how it will be implemented.

The full text of all the comments submitted to the USPTO can be found here:

The ABA-IPL Trademark Day is a unique event. I have been fortunate to have been involved in the planning of the first event. I am not aware of any other event that provides as much detailed information and insight from USPTO trademark staff. And the cost is a bargain at $50 for the full day including lunch.

This year’s program will be the fourth annual  program and is again at the USPTO headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia. The topics covered include examination policy, identification practice, TEAS enhancements, letters of protest, a live TTAB hearing, assignments, and more.

Scheduled USPTO speakers include:

  • Commissioner for Trademarks Mary Boney Denison
  • Chief Administrative Trademark Judge, The Honorable Gerard F. Rogers
  • Steven R. Berk, Trademarks Chief of Staff
  • Jennifer Chicoski, Administrator for Trademark Policy and Procedures
  • Tanya Amos, IT Trademark Legal Administrator
  • Karen Strzyz, Staff Attorney, Office of Petitions

I hope to see you there on September 14th!

For the full program and registration, see:

https://www.americanbar.org/groups/intellectual_property_law/events_cle/trademark-day-2016.html

4th Annual ABA-IPL Trademark Day:
Behind the Scenes at the USPTO

September 14, 2016
8:30 am – 4:30 pm
USPTO Headquarters
Alexandria, VA

Register Online

Trademark Day

The first half of 2015 saw a huge increase in the number of filings – more than 10%. This year’s increase is large but not as large, approximately 6%.

  • First half of 2016: 194,429 applications filed (data retrieved via TESS search on USPTO.gov on July 7, 2016)
  • First half of 2015: 183,205 new applications filed (data retrieved via TESS search on USPTO.gov on July 7, 2015)
  • First half of 2014: 165,934 new applications filed (data retrieved via TESS search on USPTO.gov on July 8, 2014)

Don’t believe the media, the trademark filings show that (a) the economy is growing and businesses are expanding, and (b) businesses continue to value the investment in protecting their trademarks.