Request for Comments Regarding Amending the First Filing Deadline for Affidavits or Declarations of Use or Excusable Nonuse, 49425-49426 [2012-20130]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 159 / Thursday, August 16, 2012 / Notices Q–20 sonar testing activities, and no more than a small number of any affected species will be taken in the form of short-term Level B behavioral harassment. In addition, since these impacts will likely not occur in areas and times critical to reproduction, NMFS has determined that the taking of these species as a result of the Navy’s Q–20 sonar test will have a negligible impact on the marine mammal species and stocks present in the Q–20 Study Area. Dated: July 26, 2012. Helen M. Golde, Acting Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service. Subsistence Harvest of Marine Mammals Request for Comments Regarding Amending the First Filing Deadline for Affidavits or Declarations of Use or Excusable Nonuse NMFS has determined that the total taking of marine mammal species or stocks from the Navy’s Q–20 sonar testing in the Q–20 Study Area would not have an unmitigable adverse impact on the availability of the affected species or stocks for subsistence uses, since there are no such uses in the specified area. Endangered Species Act (ESA) Based on the analysis of the Navy Marine Resources Assessment (MRA) data on marine mammal distributions, there is near zero probability that sperm whale will occur in the vicinity of the Q–20 test area. No other ESA-listed marine mammal is expected to occur in the vicinity of the test area. In addition, acoustic modeling analysis indicates the ESA-listed sperm whale would not be exposed to levels of sound constituting a ‘‘take’’ under the MMPA, due to the low source level and high attenuation rates of the Q–20 sonar signal. Therefore, NMFS has determined that ESA-listed species will not be affected as the result of the Navy’s Q–20 testing activities. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) In 2009, the Navy prepared a Final Environmental Impact Statement/ Overseas Environmental Impact Statement for the NSWC PCD Mission Activities (FEIS/OEIS), and NMFS subsequently adopted the FEIS/OEIS for its rule governing the Navy’s RDT&E activities in the NSWC PCD Study Area. The currently proposed Q–20 sonar testing activities are similar to the sonar testing activities described in the FEIS/ OEIS for NSWC PCD mission activities. NMFS prepared an Environmental Assessment analyzing the potential impacts of the additional Q–20 sonar test activities and reached a finding of no significant impact. VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:38 Aug 15, 2012 Jkt 226001 [FR Doc. 2012–20167 Filed 8–15–12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE United States Patent and Trademark Office [Docket No. PTO–T–2012–0031] United States Patent and Trademark Office, Commerce. ACTION: Request for comments. AGENCY: To further ensure the accuracy of the trademark register, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (‘‘USPTO’’) is seeking public comment on a potential legislative change to amend the first filing deadline for Affidavits or Declarations of Use or Excusable Nonuse under Sections 8 and 71 of the Trademark Act from between the fifth and sixth years after the registration date, or the six-month grace period that follows, to between the third and fourth years after the registration date, or the six-month grace period that follows. The change would require Congress to amend the Trademark Act, and the USPTO is interested in receiving public input on whether and why such an amendment is or is not favored. SUMMARY: Written comments must be received on or before October 15, 2012. ADDRESSES: The USPTO prefers that comments be submitted via electronic mail message to TMFRNotices@uspto.gov. Written comments may also be submitted by mail to Commissioner for Trademarks, P.O. Box 1451, Alexandria, VA 22313– 1451, attention Cynthia C. Lynch; by hand delivery to the Trademark Assistance Center, Concourse Level, James Madison Building-East Wing, 600 Dulany Street, Alexandria, Virginia, attention Cynthia C. Lynch; or by electronic mail message via the Federal eRulemaking Portal. See the Federal eRulemaking Portal Web site (http:// www.regulations.gov) for additional instructions on providing comments via the Federal eRulemaking Portal. All comments submitted directly to the Office or provided on the Federal eRulemaking Portal should include the docket number (PTO–T–2012–0031). DATES: PO 00000 Frm 00017 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 49425 The comments will be available for public inspection on the USPTO’s Web site at http://www.uspto.gov, and will also be available at the Office of the Commissioner for Trademarks, Madison East, Tenth Floor, 600 Dulany Street, Alexandria, Virginia. Because comments will be made available for public inspection, information that is not desired to be made public, such as an address or phone number, should not be included. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Cynthia C. Lynch, Office of the Deputy Commissioner for Trademark Examination Policy, at (571) 272–8742. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: A Section 8 or 71 affidavit of continued use is a sworn statement that the mark is in use in commerce, filed by the owner of a registration. If the owner is claiming excusable nonuse of the mark, a Section 8 or 71 affidavit of excusable nonuse may be filed. The purpose of the Section 8 or 71 affidavit is to ensure the accuracy of the trademark register by removing ‘‘deadwood,’’ or marks no longer in use, from the register. In the interest of ensuring that registered marks are actually in use in commerce, the USPTO is exploring whether or not there would be a benefit in shortening the first filing deadline for Affidavits or Declarations of Use or Excusable Nonuse under Sections 8 and 71 of the Trademark Act (15 U.S.C. 1058, 1141k). Therefore, the USPTO is providing the public, including user groups, with an opportunity to comment on the idea of a statutory change to shorten the first filing deadline from between the fifth and sixth years after the registration date, or the six-month grace period that follows, to between the third and fourth years after the registration date, or the six-month grace period that follows. Such a change would necessitate a legislative amendment of the Trademark Act, and thus is beyond the authority of the USPTO, but the USPTO wishes to collect public comment that might assist in the consideration of such an amendment, or another alternative. The accuracy of the trademark register as a reflection of marks that are actually in use in the United States for the goods/services identified in the registration serves an important purpose for the public. Members of the public rely on the register to clear trademarks that they may wish to adopt or are already using. When a party searching the register uncovers a similar mark, registered for goods or services that may be related to the searching party’s goods or services, that party may incur a variety of resulting costs and burdens in E:\FR\FM\16AUN1.SGM 16AUN1 mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 49426 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 159 / Thursday, August 16, 2012 / Notices assessing and addressing potential consumer confusion. Such costs and burdens may include changing its mark, investigative costs to determine the nature and extent of use of the similar mark and to assess whether any conflict exists, or cancellation proceedings or other litigation to resolve a dispute over the mark. If a registered mark is not actually in use in the United States, or is not in use on all the goods/services recited in the registration, these costs and burdens may be incurred unnecessarily. Thus, improving the accuracy and reliability of the trademark register helps reduce such costs and burdens, and thereby benefits the public. The current requirement to file an affidavit of use or excusable nonuse during the fifth year after registration developed in 1939. Reasons for adding the requirement included removing deadwood from the register, showing that a mark was still in use at the time it became incontestable, and to correspond to English law. See TradeMarks: Hearings on H.R. 4744 Before the Subcomm. on Trademarks of the H. Comm. on Patents, 76th Cong. 72–74 (1939). For marks registered under Section 44(e) (15 U.S.C. 1126(e)) or Section 66(a) (15 U.S.C. 1141f(a)) of the Trademark Act, no specimen of use in commerce in the United States is required prior to registration. In addition, recent research indicates that a significantly higher percentage of businesses fail during the first two years after their establishment than during the three years that follow. See SBA Office of Advocacy, Frequently Asked Questions (Jan. 2011), http:// www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/ sbfaq.pdf. Thus, use of marks registered by such failed businesses may have ceased long before the first Section 8 or 71 affidavit is currently required to be filed. Therefore, the proposed amendment would help ensure the accuracy of the trademark register by more promptly cancelling marks that are not in use. The USPTO notes that shortening the first filing deadline for Affidavits or Declarations of Use or Excusable Nonuse under Sections 8 and 71 would foreclose the ability that currently exists to combine the filing of an Affidavit or Declaration of Incontestability under Section 15 of the Trademark Act with the first-filed Section 8 or 71 affidavit (see 15 U.S.C. 1065). However, the Section 15 affidavit is optional, and it is often filed independently of the Section 8 or 71 affidavit. Moreover, any impact on the ability to file it in combination with a Section 8 or 71 affidavit should be considered within the context of a VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:38 Aug 15, 2012 Jkt 226001 more accurate register, where deadwood is removed several years sooner. Please consider responding to the following questions in your comments: (1) Is ‘‘deadwood’’ on the trademark register a concern of yours, and what impact do you believe it has? (2) Do you favor or oppose an amendment to shorten the first filing deadline for Affidavits or Declarations of Use or Excusable Nonuse under Sections 8 and 71 as a means of ensuring the accuracy of the trademark register? (Please explain why.) (3) If you favor shortening the deadline, what time period do you believe would be most appropriate for the first filing deadline? (4) Are you concerned that an amendment to the first Section 8 and 71 affidavit deadline would foreclose the ability to combine the filing with the filing of an Affidavit or Declaration of Incontestability under Section 15? What impact do you believe separating these filings would have? While the USPTO welcomes and values all comments from the public in response to this request, these comments do not bind the USPTO to any further actions related to the comments. Persons submitting written comments should note that the USPTO will not provide ‘‘comment and response’’ analysis, since notice and opportunity for public comment are not required for this notice under 5 U.S.C. 553(b) or any other law. Dated: August 10, 2012. David J. Kappos, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office. [FR Doc. 2012–20130 Filed 8–15–12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–16–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Patent and Trademark Office [Docket No. PTO–T–2012–0029] Notice of Inquiry Regarding Adjustment of Fees for Trademark Applications United States Patent and Trademark Office, Commerce. ACTION: Notice of inquiry. AGENCY: The United States Patent and Trademark Office (‘‘USPTO’’ or ‘‘Office’’) is considering adjusting trademark application filing fees so as to promote efficiency for the USPTO and customers by incentivizing complete electronic communication. The USPTO invites the public to submit comments regarding such possible adjustments. SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00018 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Written comments must be received on or before October 15, 2012. ADDRESSES: The USPTO prefers that comments be submitted via electronic mail message to TMFRNotices@uspto.gov. Written comments may also be submitted by mail to Commissioner for Trademarks, P.O. Box 1451, Alexandria, VA 22313– 1451, attention Cynthia C. Lynch; by hand delivery to the Trademark Assistance Center, Concourse Level, James Madison Building-East Wing, 600 Dulany Street, Alexandria, Virginia, attention Cynthia C. Lynch; or by electronic mail message via the Federal eRulemaking Portal. See the Federal eRulemaking Portal Web site (http:// www.regulations.gov) for additional instructions on providing comments via the Federal eRulemaking Portal. All comments submitted directly to the Office or provided on the Federal eRulemaking Portal should include the docket number (PTO–T–2012–0029). The comments will be available for public inspection on the USPTO’s Web site at http://www.uspto.gov, and will also be available at the Office of the Commissioner for Trademarks, Madison East, Tenth Floor, 600 Dulany Street, Alexandria, Virginia. Because comments will be made available for public inspection, information that is not desired to be made public, such as an address or phone number, should not be included. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Cynthia C. Lynch, Office of the Deputy Commissioner for Trademark Examination Policy, at (571) 272–8742. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The USPTO is providing the public, including user groups, with an opportunity to comment on possible adjustments to trademark application fees. In particular, the USPTO is considering adjusting filing fees to incentivize complete electronic communications by reducing the TEAS Plus filing fee and by providing a discount on applications filed using the regular TEAS application form, if the applicant authorizes email communication and agrees to file all responses and other documents electronically during the prosecution of the application. The USPTO is also contemplating increasing the fee for paper applications to more accurately reflect the higher cost of processing such filings. Please consider responding to the following questions in your comments: 1. Fees for filing an application for registration of a trademark are currently set at: DATES: E:\FR\FM\16AUN1.SGM 16AUN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 159 (Thursday, August 16, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 49425-49426]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-20130]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

United States Patent and Trademark Office

[Docket No. PTO-T-2012-0031]


Request for Comments Regarding Amending the First Filing Deadline 
for Affidavits or Declarations of Use or Excusable Nonuse

AGENCY: United States Patent and Trademark Office, Commerce.

ACTION: Request for comments.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: To further ensure the accuracy of the trademark register, the 
United States Patent and Trademark Office (``USPTO'') is seeking public 
comment on a potential legislative change to amend the first filing 
deadline for Affidavits or Declarations of Use or Excusable Nonuse 
under Sections 8 and 71 of the Trademark Act from between the fifth and 
sixth years after the registration date, or the six-month grace period 
that follows, to between the third and fourth years after the 
registration date, or the six-month grace period that follows. The 
change would require Congress to amend the Trademark Act, and the USPTO 
is interested in receiving public input on whether and why such an 
amendment is or is not favored.

DATES: Written comments must be received on or before October 15, 2012.

ADDRESSES: The USPTO prefers that comments be submitted via electronic 
mail message to TMFRNotices@uspto.gov. Written comments may also be 
submitted by mail to Commissioner for Trademarks, P.O. Box 1451, 
Alexandria, VA 22313-1451, attention Cynthia C. Lynch; by hand delivery 
to the Trademark Assistance Center, Concourse Level, James Madison 
Building-East Wing, 600 Dulany Street, Alexandria, Virginia, attention 
Cynthia C. Lynch; or by electronic mail message via the Federal 
eRulemaking Portal. See the Federal eRulemaking Portal Web site (http://www.regulations.gov) for additional instructions on providing comments 
via the Federal eRulemaking Portal. All comments submitted directly to 
the Office or provided on the Federal eRulemaking Portal should include 
the docket number (PTO-T-2012-0031). The comments will be available for 
public inspection on the USPTO's Web site at http://www.uspto.gov, and 
will also be available at the Office of the Commissioner for 
Trademarks, Madison East, Tenth Floor, 600 Dulany Street, Alexandria, 
Virginia. Because comments will be made available for public 
inspection, information that is not desired to be made public, such as 
an address or phone number, should not be included.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Cynthia C. Lynch, Office of the Deputy 
Commissioner for Trademark Examination Policy, at (571) 272-8742.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: A Section 8 or 71 affidavit of continued use 
is a sworn statement that the mark is in use in commerce, filed by the 
owner of a registration. If the owner is claiming excusable nonuse of 
the mark, a Section 8 or 71 affidavit of excusable nonuse may be filed. 
The purpose of the Section 8 or 71 affidavit is to ensure the accuracy 
of the trademark register by removing ``deadwood,'' or marks no longer 
in use, from the register.
    In the interest of ensuring that registered marks are actually in 
use in commerce, the USPTO is exploring whether or not there would be a 
benefit in shortening the first filing deadline for Affidavits or 
Declarations of Use or Excusable Nonuse under Sections 8 and 71 of the 
Trademark Act (15 U.S.C. 1058, 1141k). Therefore, the USPTO is 
providing the public, including user groups, with an opportunity to 
comment on the idea of a statutory change to shorten the first filing 
deadline from between the fifth and sixth years after the registration 
date, or the six-month grace period that follows, to between the third 
and fourth years after the registration date, or the six-month grace 
period that follows. Such a change would necessitate a legislative 
amendment of the Trademark Act, and thus is beyond the authority of the 
USPTO, but the USPTO wishes to collect public comment that might assist 
in the consideration of such an amendment, or another alternative.
    The accuracy of the trademark register as a reflection of marks 
that are actually in use in the United States for the goods/services 
identified in the registration serves an important purpose for the 
public. Members of the public rely on the register to clear trademarks 
that they may wish to adopt or are already using. When a party 
searching the register uncovers a similar mark, registered for goods or 
services that may be related to the searching party's goods or 
services, that party may incur a variety of resulting costs and burdens 
in

[[Page 49426]]

assessing and addressing potential consumer confusion. Such costs and 
burdens may include changing its mark, investigative costs to determine 
the nature and extent of use of the similar mark and to assess whether 
any conflict exists, or cancellation proceedings or other litigation to 
resolve a dispute over the mark. If a registered mark is not actually 
in use in the United States, or is not in use on all the goods/services 
recited in the registration, these costs and burdens may be incurred 
unnecessarily. Thus, improving the accuracy and reliability of the 
trademark register helps reduce such costs and burdens, and thereby 
benefits the public.
    The current requirement to file an affidavit of use or excusable 
nonuse during the fifth year after registration developed in 1939. 
Reasons for adding the requirement included removing deadwood from the 
register, showing that a mark was still in use at the time it became 
incontestable, and to correspond to English law. See Trade-Marks: 
Hearings on H.R. 4744 Before the Subcomm. on Trademarks of the H. Comm. 
on Patents, 76th Cong. 72-74 (1939).
    For marks registered under Section 44(e) (15 U.S.C. 1126(e)) or 
Section 66(a) (15 U.S.C. 1141f(a)) of the Trademark Act, no specimen of 
use in commerce in the United States is required prior to registration. 
In addition, recent research indicates that a significantly higher 
percentage of businesses fail during the first two years after their 
establishment than during the three years that follow. See SBA Office 
of Advocacy, Frequently Asked Questions (Jan. 2011), http://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/sbfaq.pdf. Thus, use of marks 
registered by such failed businesses may have ceased long before the 
first Section 8 or 71 affidavit is currently required to be filed. 
Therefore, the proposed amendment would help ensure the accuracy of the 
trademark register by more promptly cancelling marks that are not in 
use.
    The USPTO notes that shortening the first filing deadline for 
Affidavits or Declarations of Use or Excusable Nonuse under Sections 8 
and 71 would foreclose the ability that currently exists to combine the 
filing of an Affidavit or Declaration of Incontestability under Section 
15 of the Trademark Act with the first-filed Section 8 or 71 affidavit 
(see 15 U.S.C. 1065). However, the Section 15 affidavit is optional, 
and it is often filed independently of the Section 8 or 71 affidavit. 
Moreover, any impact on the ability to file it in combination with a 
Section 8 or 71 affidavit should be considered within the context of a 
more accurate register, where deadwood is removed several years sooner.
    Please consider responding to the following questions in your 
comments:
    (1) Is ``deadwood'' on the trademark register a concern of yours, 
and what impact do you believe it has?
    (2) Do you favor or oppose an amendment to shorten the first filing 
deadline for Affidavits or Declarations of Use or Excusable Nonuse 
under Sections 8 and 71 as a means of ensuring the accuracy of the 
trademark register? (Please explain why.)
    (3) If you favor shortening the deadline, what time period do you 
believe would be most appropriate for the first filing deadline?
    (4) Are you concerned that an amendment to the first Section 8 and 
71 affidavit deadline would foreclose the ability to combine the filing 
with the filing of an Affidavit or Declaration of Incontestability 
under Section 15? What impact do you believe separating these filings 
would have?
    While the USPTO welcomes and values all comments from the public in 
response to this request, these comments do not bind the USPTO to any 
further actions related to the comments. Persons submitting written 
comments should note that the USPTO will not provide ``comment and 
response'' analysis, since notice and opportunity for public comment 
are not required for this notice under 5 U.S.C. 553(b) or any other 
law.

    Dated: August 10, 2012.
David J. Kappos,
Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of 
the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
[FR Doc. 2012-20130 Filed 8-15-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-16-P