Trademarks Archives - Page 38 of 40 - Ant-like Persistence

USPTO credit card limit to be cut back still further

We get a lot of frequent flyer miles every year paying fees to the USPTO and WIPO by credit card.  The miles that we get are chicken feed compared with the frequent flyer miles that the really big filers — the Oblons and Sughrues of the world — may receive in this way.

Paying a fee by credit card offers the further benefit that we can “float” the cost for a month, and hopefully the client’s payment of its bill will happen promptly enough that we can pay the credit card bill in full using the money that just came in from the client.

Having said this, we note that the USPTO keeps tinkering with its credit-card payment system in ways that make it harder and harder to pay by credit card.  Just today USPTO announced another change.

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New USPTO “series code” for Hague Agreement cases

Those whose practice includes “inbound” Madrid Protocol trademark applications are accustomed to the series code “79”.  When you see a USPTO application number that starts with “79” you know that it is a trademark application number and that it came to the USPTO from the International Bureau of WIPO.  Someone who filed a Madrid Protocol trademark application (in a place other than the USPTO) must have designated the US.

Now the USPTO has picked the series code that it will use for Hague Agreement applications.

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Canada takes a step toward Hague and PLT

The Canadian parliament has taken up a bill which, if enacted, would permit Canada to join the Hague Agreement (one-stop filing of applications for protection of industrial designs) and the Patent Law Treaty.

There has also been some progress in Canada toward eventually joining the Madrid Protocol (one-stop filing of applications for protection of trademarks).

Dontcha just hate “see attached letter”?

There are a lot of annoying things about an email that says “see attached letter”.  I’ll basically just be ranting in this posting.  Feel free to skip it.

I should emphasize first that if somebody is paying my firm to do work, I will cheerfully receive any and all “attached letters” that they wish to send.  The non-US patent firm that has sent me dozens of patent applications to be filed in the US can send any email in whatever way they want to sent it.

What I am talking about is the non-US intellectual property firms, and the service providers (annuity services for example) that are receiving money from my firm.  These are the people I am complaining about when I say I am annoyed by an email that says “see attached letter”.

Why am I annoyed by this?

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Let’s get those TEAS forms e-signed today

As a reminder, any TEAS form that needs e-signing will get thrown away at the USPTO tonight.  USPTO has scheduled a server reboot for tomorrow (Saturday the 23rd) in which all of the outstanding TEAS forms will get thrown away.

So the smart thing to do today is to chase after your clients and get your outstanding TEAS forms e-signed today.  (And you need to get the forms e-filed right away after they have been e-signed.)  Otherwise if the form remains unsigned and unfiled by the end of the day, you will have to start over again on Monday.

I guess the other smart thing to do today, if you have not already done so, is to subscribe to this blog! ☺  Just go to the upper-right corner where it says “Subscribe to blog via email”.

US Trademark Office needs to stop publishing IP addresses linked to email addresses

(Followup — USPTO did the right thing and stopped publishing IP addresses.  See this blog post.)

Those who read the previous posting, about the need for USPTO to implement SSL and PFS on all of its outward-facing e-commerce systems, will have heard of the suspicion that a company is eavesdropping on TESS sessions and then uses the results of the eavesdropping in emailed sales pitches.  The alert reader will wonder how it is that such an eavesdropper would be able to figure out what email address to use to reach someone at an otherwise seemingly random IP address.  The answer is that the US Trademark Office needs to stop publishing IP addresses linked to email addresses.

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USPTO needs to implement SSL and PFS on all servers

The USPTO needs to implement SSL and PFS on all of its public-facing servers.  In plain language all of the servers at USPTO need to use “https://” rather than “http://”.  Why?  Because apparently there are eavesdroppers.  See this report from a member of the E-Trademarks listserv:

The company TMFeatures really has figured out how to decipher what we are searching, and I am very concerned.  I am working on a very sensitive global launch for a client, and I received an email this afternoon from this company which makes it clear that it knows exactly what I have pulled up on the public USPTO TESS database.  How can that happen?   If a company is able to compile a list of the marks we have pulled up, it would not be hard to make a very good case of competitive intelligence available for the right price.   I assume this would be much worse for single industry in-house trademark counsel than us outside people, but still very concerning.

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Trademark Office being helpful

Do you sometimes prepare a submission in USPTO’s TEAS system, and send it to a client so that the client may review it and maybe e-sign it?  (Examples of such a submission might include the filing of a new US trademark application or the filing of a Statement of Use.)   If so, then during the next two weeks you may wish to carry out that task in a slightly different way than the usual way.  The nice thing is that the Trademark Office is being helpful to its customers by letting them know in advance of something important that will happen about two weeks from now.

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The Terrifying New York Definition of a Franchise

It is all too easy for an intellectual property practitioner in the US to fall into the bad habit of assuming that everything about IP is the same in every state of the US.  The other day a discussion in the E-Trademarks listserv offered a reminder of a particularly nasty trap for the unwary — the terrifying New York definition of a franchise.

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