USPTO Considers Shortening First Section 8 Deadline

The USPTO is seeking public comment regarding an amendment of federal law to shorten the first filing deadline for demonstrating use or excusable nonuse of a registered trademark.  Though such a change requires legislative amendment of the Trademark Act, the USPTO is seeking public comment about such an amendment.  The change would function to promptly remove unused marks (i.e., deadwood) from the register.  Accordingly, an amendment to Sections 8 and 71 is proposed, wherein the first declaration of use or excusable nonuse would be required within three to four years following registration.  The current law requires such filing between the fifth and sixth years.  In either instance, a six-month grace period follows the statutory period.  See the request for comments in the Federal Register.  Responses are due by October 15, 2012.