USPTO Delays Effective Date for Mandatory eFiling of All Trademark Filings

Today the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced that it was delaying the effective date of the new rule requiring the electronic filing of all trademark documents and the provision of accurate email addresses for purposes of correspondence with the USPTO relating to all applications and registrations. The new effective date will be December 21, 2019.

The USPTO explained that the delay was intended to provide the USPTO with more time to prepare internally for implementation and to allow the public more time to “fully comprehend the nature of, and prepare to comply with, the new requirements before they are effective.” Supplementary Information, Sept. 24, 2019.

For more information about the requirements of the Rule, please note the following:

USPTO Expands Random Audit Program

On July 29, 2019, the USPTO hosted a panel discussion outlining the details of its newly-expanded random audit program, as part of its ongoing efforts to declutter the U.S. federal trademark Register.

Originally launched as a pilot program in 2012, the Random Audit Program was made permanent in November 2017, requiring additional proof of use for goods and services covered by over 4,600 registrations. The USPTO has now announced that it plans to expand the program to audit approximately 5,000 registrations each year and has reemphasized that the U.S. trademark registration system protects only those trademarks and service marks actually in use in U.S. commerce – and can not be used as a reservation of rights system.

What Kinds of Registrations are Subject to Audit? Continue reading

USPTO Published Final Rule Mandating Complete Trademark Electronic Filing

Today the USPTO published the long-awaited final rule mandating “complete end-to-end” electronic filing in all trademark matters. “Changes to the Trademark Rules of Practice to Mandate Electronic Filing,” 84 Fed. Reg. 37081 (July 31, 2019); additional details can be found on the Federal Register’s summary page. The rule becomes effective on October 5, 2019.

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