Kevin Grierson, partner and co-chair of the Intellectual Property group at Culhane Meadows, was interviewed and prominently featured in an article titled “USPTO steps up efforts to remove deadwood from the register; proposes “streamlined” cancellation proceeding” as published by World Trademark Review. The focus of the article is on how the USPTO is migrating toward more efficient cancellation proceedings in order to ensure better accuracy on the trademark register, perhaps triggered by a recent executive order by President Donald Trump to cut two existing regulations for every new rule introduced.
“The outline of the proceedings seems logical to me,” says Grierson. “If a petitioner alleges abandonment or non-use, and the registrant files a timely response demonstrating use, it certainly seems that a full-blown cancellation proceeding would not be necessary or helpful under those circumstances. Unlike issues involving, say, likelihood of confusion, the analysis is fairly straightforward – if a registrant can demonstrate non-trivial use of the challenged mark, it is game over. If it can’t demonstrate such use, the circumstances for showing excusable non-use are fairly limited.”
“I have no insight into the internal workings of the USPTO, so I couldn’t tell you how they are going to comply with the executive order and make rule changes,” Grierson adds. “I do think, however, that the proposed rule complies with the intent, if not the letter, of the executive order, because it should result in simplified proceedings when a cancellation petition is filed alleging abandonment or non-use by the trademark registrant.”
The entire article may be viewed HERE as a PDF.