TLJ News from February 16-20, 2014

USPTO to Amend Rules Regarding Collective Marks

2/20. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) published a notice in the Federal Register (FR) that announces, describes, recites, and sets the deadline for commenting upon, its proposed rules changes related to collective trademarks, collective service marks, and collective membership marks, and certification marks to clarify application requirements, allegations of use requirements, multiple class application requirements, and registration maintenance requirements for such marks.

The deadline to submit comments is May 21, 2014. See, FR, Vol. 79, No. 34, February 20, 2014, at at Pages 9678-9697.

The USPTO's FR notice states that the proposed changes will codify current USPTO practice as set forth in the USPTO's Trademark Manual of Examining Procedure (TMEP) and case law.

It adds that the proposed changes "will permit the USPTO to provide the public more detailed guidance regarding registering and maintaining registrations for these types of marks and will promote the efficient and consistent processing of such marks. Further, the USPTO proposes to amend several rules beyond those related to collective marks and certification marks to create consistency with rule changes regarding such marks and to streamline the rules, by consolidating text and incorporating headings, for easier use."

Obama Administration Condemns Patent Trolls

2/20. The White House news office released a statement regarding patents. It employs the term "patent trolls", without explaining the meaning of the term. It calls for legislation, but makes no legislative proposals. It recites recent actions taken by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), and some things that the USPTO will do going forward.

It is significant that the White House news office is now employing the term "patent trolls". However, the statement is largely rhetorical, rather than substantive.

On the other hand, Michelle Lee, the acting head of the USPTO, gave a speech at a White House event on patents on February 20. She did not use the term "patent trolls".

See, full story.

People and Appointments

2/19. Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ) announced in a release that he will not run for re-election in 2014.