USPTO audits go mainstream: prepare for the unexpected

By Cynthia Walden and John McCormick

The US Patent and Trademark Office is tightening controls on the post-registration requirement of use in an effort to clean up the US Trademark Register – meaning that rights holders now face random audits of their registered marks

The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has taken a significant step forward in tightening its controls for ensuring that trademark registrants comply with the use in commerce requirements of US registration practice. To this end, it has introduced a post-registration rule change which will likely have a significant impact on trademark maintenance practices.

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Issue 71