Review of Comments Regarding Amending the First Filing Deadline for Affidavits or Declarations of Use or Excusable Nonuse
On August 16, 2012, the USPTO published a notice inviting the public to submit written comments on a potential legislative change to amend the first filing deadline for Affidavits or Declarations of Use or Excusable Nonuse under Sections 8 and 71 of the Trademark Act from between the fifth and sixth years after the registration date, or the six-month grace period that follows, to between the third and fourth years after the registration date, or the six-month grace period that follows (77 FR 49425 (August 16, 2012)). A review of the comments submitted reveals that although many commenters expressed concern regarding registrations that are no longer in use in connection with some or all of the goods/services listed, the predominant sentiment was that the deadline should not be shortened. Several commenters also noted that further research and data were necessary to support a legislative change to the deadline. To that end, the USPTO notes that it is currently conducting a post-registration pilot program to gather information regarding the accuracy of identifications of goods/services for registered marks. (77 FR 30197 (May 22, 2012)).