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IP – Stronger Fraud Risk Management Could Improve the Integrity of Trademark System

Intellectual Property: Stronger Fraud Risk Management Could Improve the Integrity of the Trademark System. Published: Mar 14, 2024. Publicly Released: Mar 14, 2024. “…The Trademark Modernization Act of 2020 (TMA) established two new procedures—expungement and reexamination—that allow individuals and businesses to challenge a registered trademark on the basis that it was not used in commerce, as is normally required. A successful challenge results in the trademark being removed from the register, thus making it available for potential use for the challenger or other applicants. GAO found that from December 2021 through June 2023 the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and attorneys representing trademark owners filed nearly 500 petitions under the new procedures. Collectively, these petitions resulted in the removal of more than 2,500 falsely claimed goods and services from the trademark register. Trademark attorneys told GAO that the new procedures can be cost-effective and low-risk. Existing USPTO programs have also addressed inaccurate or false trademark applications and registrations. The agency’s post registration audit program removed trademarked goods and services in about half of its randomly selected audits each year from the start of the program in 2017. This suggests that there may be more than 1 million false and inaccurate registrations out of about 2.8 million overall due to an influx of applications, among other factors.”

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