Posts Tagged: "Commissioner for Trademarks"

Trademark Crush: A Perfect Storm is Threatening U.S. Trademark Applicants

Recently, USPTO Commissioner for Trademarks David Gooder wrote on the USPTO Director’s Forum Blog that registrations for U.S. trademarks are up 63% from the same period in 2020. The USPTO received over 92,600 trademark applications in December 2020 alone. This has caused delays in a number of stages in the trademark process, including a current pendency of 75 days (as of July 5, 2021) for the Pre-Examination Unit of a TEAS application. This is compared to a ten-day target. The USPTO also reached a dubious milestone in Q4 2020, breaking the 1 million mark in pending applications, with 1,002,768 in the queue. This has affected trademark registrants from the very beginning of the application process. First Action Pendency (months) in Q1 of 2020 was 2.8 months. For Q1 2021, the pendency was up to 4.0 months, with Q2 trending to almost five months for First Action. Delays like these affect the ability of trademark owners to protect their brands, could cause an increase in consumer confusion and impact the value of legitimate trademarks.

USPTO Says Trademark Filings are Up More Than 60% Through First Six Months of 2021 Due to E-Commerce Growth

On June 23, a U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) blog post published a piece authored by Commissioner for Trademarks David Gooder discussing a massive surge in trademark application filings at the agency this year. Through June 17, the USPTO had received 63% more trademark applications (211,000 additional filings) when compared to the same period in 2020. Spurred on by the growth of the internet economy during the COVID-19 pandemic, the surge has created a backlog of trademark applications that has extended the wait times for first office actions to an average of 5.2 months and final disposals of applications to an average of 10.5 months.

New USPTO Commissioner for Trademarks Appointed

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced today that Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross has appointed David Gooder to be the new USPTO Commissioner for Trademarks, replacing Mary Boney Denison, who retired from the position in December 2019 after eight years with the Office. Since Boney Denison’s retirement, Deputy Commissioner for Trademark Operations Meryl Hershkowitz has been acting in the role of Commissioner. Gooder most recently served as Chief Trademark Counsel for Brown-Forman Corporation, which is among the largest American-owned spirits and wine companies. According to the USPTO press release, at Brown-Forman, “Gooder directed the company’s global intellectual property work, including managing its large trademark portfolio, rights clearance, brand protection (including anti-counterfeiting), licensing, and entertainment deals for the brands.”

Retired USPTO Commissioner for Trademarks Mary Boney Denison Recounts Her Career and the Challenges Ahead for the Office

On December 31, the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO’s) Commissioner for Trademarks, Mary Boney Denison, retired from her position with the agency. Denison joined the USPTO in 2011 as Deputy Commissioner for Trademark Operations and became Commissioner for Trademarks on January 1, 2015. Before joining the USPTO, she practiced law in the area of trademark prosecution and litigation, as a founding partner of Manelli Denison & Selter PLLC in Washington, D.C., from 1996 to 2011, and as a partner of Graham & James LLP for ten years. The USPTO has not yet named the next Commissioner for Trademarks. Deputy Commissioner for Trademark Operations Meryl Hershkowitz will be acting in the role until the new commissioner is named. In late December, IP Watchdog had the opportunity to interview Denison about her career and her accomplishments at the USPTO. Below, she discusses what she is most proud of, what she could have done better, and provides an update on the Office’s efforts to combat fraudulent trademark filings from China, which has proven to be a major stumbling block for the agency in recent years.

House Hearing Highlights China, E-Commerce Contributions to Cluttering of U.S. Trademark Register

At a hearing of the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet this morning, titled Counterfeits and Cluttering: Emerging Threats to the Integrity of the Trademark System and the Impact on American Consumers and Businesses, members of Congress expressed concern over the steep rise in trademark applications by Chinese filers, many of which have been found to be fraudulent. The problem has been exacerbated by poor enforcement on the part of platforms like Amazon, eBay, and Walmart; by the limited authority of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to revoke registrations once issued; and by incentives offered by the Chinese government in the form of subsidies to Chinese applicants for U.S. trademarks, said panelists.

Mary Denison Appointed as New Commissioner for Trademarks

Since June 2011, Denison has served as the Deputy Commissioner for Trademark Operations, where she has been responsible for USPTO trademark application, legal examination and registration processes. She has led outreach to the trademark legal community, small businesses and applicants without legal counsel. Denison will succeed Deborah Cohn, a 31-year veteran of the agency who began her service as Commissioner at the end of 2010 and will retire from the agency at the end of 2014.

In Capable Hands: Profiling the New Leadership at the PTO

Before profiling the top officials who will continue the work of the patent system, allow me also to pause and recognize a truly extraordinary moment in Patent Office History. The top three officials at the USPTO will all be women. Acting Director Teresa Rea, Commissioner for Patents Peggy Focarino and Commissioner for Trademarks Deborah Cohn will lead the Office forward steering America’s engine of innovation and commerce. If that doesn’t create a buzz of excitement even in Washington, DC, I don’t know what will! It is excitement well deserved and perhaps could lead to a higher profile for the USPTO, which would be very good for the patent system as a whole.

Exclusive Interview: Trademark Commissioner Cohn Part 2

On February 3, 2012, I had the pleasure of interviewing Deborah Cohn, the Commissioner for Trademarks at the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Part 1 of the interview was published yesterday. What follows is the remainder of the interview. We discussed a range of topics in this segment, including average pendency of trademark applications, cease and desist practice and some of the misleading letters sent to trademark owners and applicants from various third-parties that provide dubious publication services.

Exclusive Interview: Trademark Commissioner Deborah Cohn

On February 3, 2012, I had the pleasure of interviewing Deborah Cohn, the Commissioner for Trademarks at the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Cohn oversees all aspects of the USPTO’s Trademarks organization including policy, operations and budget relating to trademark examination, registration and maintenance. We spoke in her office on the 10th floor of the Madison Building for approximately 55 minutes.

USPTO Hosts Women’s Entrepreneurship Symposium

On Friday March 11, 2011, I attended the Women’s Entrepreneurship Symposium in honor of Women’s History Month at the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The program was co-sponsored by the US Women’s Chamber of Commerce and focused on women entrepreneurs, the importance of intellectual property protection for their innovations, how to leverage economic opportunities for women-owned businesses and what resources are available exclusively for women-owned small businesses. The topics discussed focused solely on American business.