United States Patent and Trademark Office July 12, 2011 – Federal Register Recent Federal Regulation Documents
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Changes in Requirements for Specimens and for Affidavits or Declarations of Continued Use or Excusable Nonuse in Trademark Cases
In order to help assess and ensure the accuracy of the trademark register, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (``USPTO'') proposes to revise the Trademark Rules of Practice and the Rules of Practice for Filings Pursuant to the Madrid Protocol to provide for the USPTO to require: any information, exhibits, and affidavits or declarations deemed reasonably necessary to examine an affidavit or declaration of continued use or excusable nonuse in trademark cases, or for the USPTO to assess the accuracy and integrity of the register; and upon request, more than one specimen in connection with a use-based trademark application, an allegation of use, an amendment to a registered mark, or an affidavit or declaration of continued use in trademark cases. A lack of ability to rely on the trademark register as an accurate reflection of marks that are actually in use in the United States for the goods/services identified in the registration imposes costs and burdens on the public. The proposed rules will allow the USPTO to require additional proof of use of a mark to verify the accuracy of claims that a trademark is in use on particular goods/services. The USPTO anticipates issuing requirements for such proof in a relatively small number of cases to assess the accuracy of the identifications. The proposed rules will facilitate an assessment of the reliability of the trademark register in this regard, so that the USPTO and stakeholders may determine whether and to what extent a general problem may exist and consider measures to address it, if necessary.