March 19, 2008

Last Friday, the USPTO announced via the Federal Register (excerpt link below) that it will be instituting new trademark rules of practice to require written descriptions of non-standard character trademarks. In October, 2007, the USPTO proposed the new rules and solicited comments from the public, and in response, the USPTO finalized the rule changes (as noted within the Federal Register) to require “a description of the mark in all applications to register a mark not in standard characters” with the goal that “[t]his requirement will facilitate more accurate and comprehensive design coding and pseudo-mark data determinations, and therefore will promote better searchability of marks within the USPTO database.” Currently, 37 C.F.R. § 2.37 states that a description “may be included in the application and must be included if required by the trademark examining attorney.” Here is a list of the specific rule changes:

Addition of new paragraph (a)(8) to 37 C.F.R. § 2.32 (“Requirements for a complete application”): “If the mark is not in standard characters, a description of the mark.”

Revision of 37 C.F.R. § 2.37 to read as follows: “A description of the mark must be included if the mark is not in standard characters. In an application where the mark is in standard characters, a description may be included and must be included if required by the trademark examining attorney.”

Revision of paragraph (b)(5) of 37 C.F.R. § 2.35 (“Types of drawings and format for drawings”) to read as follows: “Description of mark. A description of the mark must be included.”

As noted within the title above, these new changes shall take effect on May 13, 2008.

Federal Register Excerpt: LINK


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The DDIP Author

Mark Reichel
Reichel IP LLC

I am a patent attorney with Reichel IP LLC, where I concentrate my practice on patent drafting and prosecution, trademarks, and general intellectual property matters. I currently focus on the preparation and prosecution of medical device and other life sciences patent applications, and being actively involved in a number of local not-for-profit organizations.

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