Dear Trademark Colleagues:
I write in favor of the proposal to shorten by one year the initial maintenance deadline after registration. To address the questions raised in the Notice:
- Deadwood on the registry is a serious problem because it blocks innovation by new businesses. Clearing new trademarks is becoming increasingly difficult due to a crowded registry. To help solve this problem, we should do all that we reasonably can to remove unused marks from the registry.
- One reasonable means of removing deadwood is to move up the deadline for showing use. For this reason I support the USPTO proposal. I would support a declaration of use requirement at the end of the fourth and seventh years of registration and then again every three years thereafter. The 10-year declaration could be combined with renewal.
- I think the first filing deadline should be four years from the registration date (with a six-month grace period).
- I think that the Section 15 filing should be a separate filing, but could be combined with a seven-year declaration or any filing thereafter.
Abelman Frayne & Schwab
666 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10017
(212) 949-9022 (Voice)
(212) 949-9190 (Fax)