USPTO tackling the “balaclava problem” (part 1)

Trademark filers are familiar with the “balaclava problem”.  When I say the “balaclava problem” I mean the many US trademark registrations in which the listing of identified goods or services in a particular trademark class is a listing of all possible goods or services in that class.  The USPTO has launched two recent initiatives which are intended to try to fight the “balaclava problem”.  This blog article discusses one of the initiatives and the next blog article discusses the second of the initiatives.

Let’s first give a real-life illustration of the “balaclava problem”.  As an example consider the 721 items of goods in class 25 (clothing) for this application, which is presently pending before the USPTO: Continue reading

First results from USPTO’s Trademark Application Docket system

I’ve received my first status monitoring results from USPTO’s new TAD (Trademark Application Docket) system.  The system worked, so far as I can tell.  I’ll describe how it went. Continue reading

A new way to monitor the trademark Official Gazette

The USPTO has quietly released a new way to monitor the trademark Official Gazette.  (Note that this is not at all the same thing as the trademark application monitoring system that I discussed in the previous blog article!  This blog article is talking about a system for monitoring the Official Gazette, and the previous blog article is talking about a system for monitoring TSDR.)

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A new way to monitor US trademark filings

The USPTO has quietly rolled out a new system that permits users to monitor the status of trademark filings.  The USPTO’s new system has a few features in common with Feathers!, the well-known software for monitoring US trademark filings.  I hope trademark practitioners will give the USPTO’s new system a try and post comments below, to report their experience.

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Get your numbers in for the 2016 US trademark registration toteboard

It’s that time of year again.  A year ago we published the 2015 US Trademark Registration Tote Board.  Now it’s time to get the numbers in for the 2016 US Trademark Registration Tote Board.

The goal of this toteboard is to list the firms that helped clients obtain US trademark registrations in 2016.  The toteboard seeks to list US trademark registrations granted in 2016.    The closing date for the questionnaire  will be January 20, 2017.

To learn more and to report your numbers, please click here.

Improved image searching for trademarks

The European Union Intellectual Property Office (the office formerly known as OHIM) has released a fascinating new image searching system for trademarks. You can upload an image and the system will look for similar images, based upon some sort of AI (artificial intelligence) algorithm.  I decided to try it out.  I uploaded the familiar image that you see at right.  Here is a small portion of what the system found:

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Trademark files from the days before computers

Today we received an interesting letter from the post-registration branch at the USPTO.  The letter says that the Section 15 papers that we filed a couple of months ago (to make a registration “incontestable“) are being bounced.  The Section 15 fee that we paid will be refunded, the letter explains.  The letter explains that the Section 15 papers that we filed “remain in the record”.  The Section 15 papers “will not be returned to you and will not be processed or reviewed.”  Can you guess why this happened?

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