From: Fischer, Erica (GE Corporate) [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Friday, October 31, 2014 1:59 PM
To: TM Policy
Subject: Re: Technology Evolution
Technology continues to change and advance at a rapid pace, which means mark owners need to adapt and sometimes transition to new ways of offering their goods and services. At the same time, mark owners spend a substantial amount of time and money building goodwill in their trademarks, and changes in technology should not prevent mark owners from being able to maintain and renew their registrations if the marks continue to be used. We therefore welcome the USPTO’s willingness to implement a policy that will allow mark owners the ability to amend the ID of goods/services to maintain registrations of marks where the evolution of technology has caused certain goods and services to be offered via a different medium. Registrants will be able to maintain registrations rather than having to re-file to register marks that continue to be used where the underlying goods/subject matter remain unchanged, and safeguards such as requiring the registrant to submit a §7, requiring a waiver of the applicable scope rule with a declaration that absent an amendment the registration would be canceled due to a change in the medium by which the goods/services are offered, requiring the submission of new use dates, and the publication of the accepted amendment in the Official Gazette, will allay concerns of those who fear there would not be precautions to prevent some from abusing the resulting benefits of a change in the USPTO’s practice.
We ask the USPTO to either consider now or in the future, eliminating the need for applicants to specify the medium by which goods and services are offered, as goods with the same content such as sound recordings, are by their very nature related regardless of the medium in which they are offered. Eliminating the need to specify the medium, e.g. eliminating the need to specify whether software in Class 9 is downloadable or non-downloadable, would decrease the need for mark owners to seek §7 amendments due to technological evolution going forward and would also reduce the administrative burden on the USPTO of examining and considering such amendments.
Overall, we welcome the proposed change to the USPTO’s current practice and think it will be positive.
GE Corporate Trademark Operation
Erica M. Fischer
Senior Brand Counsel
T 203 373 3720
F 203 373 2181
General Electric Company
3135 Easton Turnpike
Fairfield, CT 06828
GE imagination at work
Connecticut Authorized House Counsel
Admitted in New York