Feb 1, 2017

U.S. Patent and Trademark (PTO) Office Rules and Regulations Change

Trademark Symbol

The PTO has amended its rules, effective February 17, 2017, with respect to the examination of affidavits/declarations of continued use in commerce/excusable nonuse filed pursuant to Sections 8 and 71 of the Trademark Act.

Under the new rules, the PTO may require submission of information, exhibits, affidavits or declarations, and such additional specimens of use as may be reasonably necessary, to ensure the register accurately reflects marks in use in commerce in the U.S. for all goods/services identified in the registrations, unless excusable nonuse is claimed in whole or in part.

These amended rules will allow the PTO to require such additional proof of use to verify the accuracy of claims that a trademark is in use in commerce on/in connection with particular goods/services identified in the registrations.

TIP to Trademark Owners:  You must be prepared to provide evidence of use of a mark in commerce in/with the U.S. on/in connection with each and every product and/or service covered in a given registration when filing a Section 8 or 71 Declaration with the PTO.  Thus, it is recommended that examples of such use (as described above) be collected and maintained so as to be available if/when needed.  Please contact Jim Bikoff or Darlene Klinksieck if you have any questions.