On 18 May 2021, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) published a notice of proposed rule-making concerning the Trademark Modernization Act of 2020 (TMA).

Key points of the proposed rules:

  1. New ground for TTAB cancellation proceeding;
  2. Shorter three-month response period for office actions;
  3. Third-party submissions during examination (letters of protest);
  4. Attorney recognition until revocation or withdrawal;
  5. Attorney withdrawal requirements codified;
  6. Court orders concerning registrations.

Effective Date: After review of comments regarding these proposed rule changes, a final rule will go into effect by December 27, 2021, except as to the flexible response period provisions which are proposed to go into effect on June 27, 2022.

To implement the new ex parte expungement and reexamination proceedings, as required by the TMA, the USPTO proposes the following new rules:

  1. Section 2.91, setting forth the requirements for a petition requesting the institution of expungement or reexamination proceedings;
  2. Section 2.92, regarding the institution of expungement and reexamination proceedings;
  3. Sections 2.93 through 2.94, setting forth the procedures for expungement and reexamination proceedings; and
  4. Section 2.143, addressing appeals to the TTAB in connection with these new proceedings.In addition, conforming amendments are proposed for the following existing rules:
  5. Section 2.11, which requires U.S. counsel for foreign-domiciled petitioners and registrants;
  6. Section 2.23, which addresses the duty to monitor the status of a registration;
  7. Section 2.142, which addresses the time and manner of ex parte appeals;
  8. Section 2.145, which addresses appeals to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit;
  9. Section 2.146, which addresses petitions to the Director; and
  10. Section 2.193, which addresses signature requirements.


Read the Notice HERE

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