Changes To Implement Provisions of the Trademark Modernization Act of 2020
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO or Office) amends the rules of practice in trademark cases to implement provisions of the Trademark Modernization Act of 2020 (TMA). This rule establishes ex parte expungement and reexamination proceedings for cancellation of a registration when the required use in commerce of the registered mark has not been made; provides for a new nonuse ground for cancellation before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB or Board); establishes flexible Office action response periods; and amends the existing letter-of-protest rule to indicate that letter-of-protest determinations are final and non-reviewable. The rule also sets fees for petitions requesting institution of ex parte expungement and reexamination proceedings, and for requests to extend Office action response deadlines. The rules governing the suspension of USPTO proceedings and attorney recognition in trademark matters are also amended. Finally, a new rule is added to address procedures regarding court orders cancelling or affecting registrations.