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To register a trademark with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) or to make a claim for trademark infringement, an entity must use the trademark in commerce. Following registration, the trademark owner must periodically submit to the USPTO a fresh declaration of use that must include a specimen showing current use of the trademark. Because some trademark owners submit specimens of use that are altered or modified, the USPTO has taken measures to ensure the trademark register continues to be a reliable source of trademarks.

Panitch Schwarze attorney Bridget H. Labutta recently authored an article in The Legal Intelligencer outlining the various protocols the USPTO uses to determine the legitimacy of registered trademarks. She provides an overview of federal trademark law’s definition of trademark use in commerce and explains how this concept is applied to goods and services.

Labutta examines the various means by which the USPTO combats bad faith filings, including the specimen protest pilot program, the post registration audit program, and the ex parte proceedings of the Trademark Modernization Act of 2020. She highlights the importance of maintaining an accurate and reliable trademark register in order to benefit trademark owners and protect their hard work.

Read the full article here: “US Trademark Office Continues to Make Changes to Combat Bad Faith Filings” (Subscription is required.)

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