By Daniel Davidson
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has opened the floor for comment regarding a new proposed amendment to the trademark registration renewal periods. Up to and including November 5, 2012, the USPTO will accept public comment regarding the proposal.
Currently, a Section 8 or 71 Declaration of Continued Use or Non-Use must be filed within the 5th and 6th years after a trademark is registered (with a 6 month grace period after the 6th year for a fee). The Section 8 or 71 Declaration is a way in which the USPTO can monitor activeness of the marks in the Principal and Supplementary Registers. If a trademark registration holder cannot provide evidence of continued use or give an acceptable reason for non-use, then a trademark will go abandoned.
The purpose behind the USPTO’s proposed amendment to change the Section 8 or 71 first deadline from between the 5th and 6th years to between the 3rd and 4th years after registration is to ensure a more accurate register. This is most likely due to the economic trends of new companies coming and going at such a rapid pace. A change to the first deadline may be much more favorable to applicants because they would then not have to wait as long for a trademark that is obviously not in use in interstate commerce.
If you are interested in providing comment to the USPTO you can do so by visiting their website.