The Greek philosopher Heraclitus noted, “The only constant in life is change.” Right now, this could be the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) motto. In addition to getting new leaders, the USPTO has been tasked by Congress with updating some of its core functions.
As President Biden staffs his administration we expect to see new leadership at the USPTO. With new personnel often come new policies and priorities. For example, during the Trump administration USPTO Director Andrei Iancu prioritized updating the guidance to Section 101 of the patent code and changing the procedures of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB). During the Obama administration, there was more of an effort to partner with players in the tech sector to incentivize innovation. President Biden has not said much about intellectual property priorities so far, but we know changes are probable because the USPTO will be implementing a major new law in the coming years.
As part of the December 2020 COVID-19 relief bill, Congress amended the Lanham Act to make it easier for the USPTO to declutter its trademark registry. This new law should make it faster and simpler for business owners and creators to get unused marks removed from the registry to clear the way for their own trademarks. The new law also empowers the Director of the USPTO to periodically audit and clean up the registry, which should go a long way toward keeping it clear of unused marks that block legitimate marketing and branding efforts.
No matter what changes come to the USPTO in the coming months and years, business owners, entrepreneurs, and creators here in South Florida can count on the Lomnitzer Law team to protect their interests. Our experienced team of attorneys constantly monitors the latest news from the USPTO, Congress, and the court system to ensure we are up to date and ready to advise and advocate for our clients.
We will continue to keep an eye on what is happening in the world of trademarks and watch for the significant changes in personnel and policy that come with a new presidential administration. We know that even subtle changes can have a big impact on our clients.
If you have concerns about changing policies at the USPTO, the Lomnitzer Law team is here for you. You can rely on our experienced attorneys to advise and counsel you on IP issues so you can spend your time creating or running your business. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation.