Thursday, February 20, 2014

Attributable Owner of a Patent

The February 20, 2014 Federal Register contains a proposed rule regarding public hearings and an extension of the comment period on the proposed changes to require identification of the attributable owner of a patent. The summary is as follows:
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (Office) published a notice on January 24, 2014, proposing changes to the rules of practice to require that the attributable owner, including the ultimate parent entity, be identified during the pendency of a patent application and at specified times during the life of a patent, and seeking written comments on the proposed changes. This initiative is one of a number of executive actions issued by the Administration that are designed to ensure issuance of the highest-quality patents, enhance competition by providing the public with more complete information about the competitive environment in which innovators operate, improve market efficiency for patent rights by making patent ownership information more readily and easily available, reduce abusive patent litigation by helping the public defend itself against frivolous litigation, and level the playing field for innovators. The Office is conducting two public hearings to discuss these proposed changes. The public hearings are an additional way for the Office to introduce the proposed changes and directly receive feedback from the public. The Office also is extending the period for public comment on the proposed changes until April 24, 2014, to provide interested members of the public with additional time to submit written comments.
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Trademark Changes

According to a Thursday, February 20, 2014 proposed rule, the United States Patent and Trademark Office proposes to amend requirements for collective trademarks and service marks, collective membership marks, and certification marks.
SUMMARY: The United States Patent and Trademark Office (``USPTO'')proposes to amend the rules related to collective trademarks,collective service marks, and collective membership marks (together ``collective marks''), and certification marks to clarify application requirements, allegations of use requirements, multiple-class application requirements, and registration maintenance requirements for such marks. These proposed rule changes will codify current USPTO practice set forth in the USPTO's ``Trademark Manual of Examining Procedure'' (``TMEP'') and precedential case law. These changes also 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.
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