米国商標出願の分割

米国での商標出願の分割

米国での商標登録出願も必要に応じて分割することができます。例えば、複数の基礎を伴う出願の場合に、一部の指定商品だけ外国商標登録を基礎としており、他の指定商品はITUで未だ使用宣誓書が準備できない場合や、ある区分の指定商品については使用宣誓書を準備できるが、残りの区分では延長が必要な場合では、区分で分けられる(即ち、同じ類の商品役務が分割されない)分割の請求をすれば、分割費用だけで一部の早期登録が可能となります。

出願分割の費用

出願分割を行う場合には、費用と共に分割を請求します。分割の費用は、いくつかの類を類ごと分割する場合には、オンラインで100USDの費用がかかりますが、出願の分割する場合に、類の一部を分けるような分割の場合には、分割の費用に加えて出願料も払う必要があります。

分割の時期

分割は、出願日から審査官が公告決定をするまでの間や、異議申立手続、同時使用や抵触手続、或いは審判手続での申立の間でも請求が可能です。ITU出願の分割は、使用宣誓書と共に若しくは使用宣誓書を提出した後、所定期間内に請求することができます。複数の基礎による出願は、許可通知の発行から使用宣誓書の提出の間の期間に、ある基礎の商品・役務について分割を請求することができます。

分割出願の様式

分割の請求は、補正や意見書とは別個に、最初のページの上端部に”出願分割請求(Request to Divide Application)”と記載した書類を提出します。分割の請求には出願人か代理人の署名が必要です。

分割請求の処理

分割請求を提出しても、使用宣誓書の提出期限は延長されず、使用宣誓書を提出する期間の延長の要求の期限も延長されません。出願が分割された時点で有効な未処理の期限は、元の出願だけでなく、出願の分割によって作成された新しい各出願にも適用されます。一般に分割請求の処理に関しては、米国特許商標庁は分割請求を優先しますが、 同時に使用宣誓書を提出する期間を延長する要求も提出された場合は例外的に延長要求は最初に処理され、その延長要求が分割される出願にも適用されます。

国際登録出願の一部移転

国際登録出願に関し、国際事務局が米国特許商標庁に国際登録出願の一部の所有者が変更した旨の通知をしたときには、米国特許商標庁は、その所有者変更の通知は分割の請求とみなします(TMEP §1110.11(a))。 米国特許商標庁は、部分的な所有権の移転を記録し、商品・役務の一部を分割し、新しいシリアルナンバーを付与します。登録証を得るためには分割請求の費用を支払うことが必要です。拒絶理由がある場合には、審査官はそれを新所有者に連絡し、応答がなければ出願は放棄されたものと看做されます。国際事務局が米国特許商標庁に国際登録が分割されたことを通知しない限り、米国特許商標庁は所有権の移転を以てsec.66aの基礎出願を分割をすることはありません。

37 C.F.R. §2.87 Dividing an application
37 C.F.R. §2.87 Dividing an application.
(a) Application may be divided. An application may be divided into two or more separate applications upon the payment of a fee for each new application created and submission by the applicant of a request in accordance with paragraph (d) of this section.
(b) Fee. In the case of a request to divide out one or more entire classes from an application, only the fee for dividing an application as set forth in §2.6(a)(19) will be required. However, in the case of a request to divide out some, but not all, of the goods or services in a class, the applicant must submit the application filing fee as set forth in §2.6(a)(1) for each new separate application to be created by the division, in addition to the fee for dividing an application.
(c) Time for filing. (1) A request to divide an application may be filed at any time between the application filing date and the date on which the trademark examining attorney approves the mark for publication; or during an opposition, concurrent use, or interference proceeding, upon motion granted by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.
(2) In an application under section 1(b) of the Act, a request to divide may also be filed with a statement of use under §2.88 or at any time between the filing of a statement of use and the date on which the trademark examining attorney approves the mark for registration.
(3) In a multiple-basis application, a request to divide out goods or services having a particular basis may also be filed during the period between the issuance of the notice of allowance under section 13(b)(2) of the Act and the filing of a statement of use under §2.88.
(d) Form. A request to divide an application should be made in a separate document from any other amendment or response in the application. The title “Request to Divide Application” should appear at the top of the first page of the document.
(e) Outstanding time periods apply to newly created applications. Any time period for action by the applicant which is outstanding in the original application at the time of the division will apply to each separate new application created by the division, except as follows:
(1) If an Office action pertaining to less than all the classes in a multiple-class application is outstanding, and the applicant files a request to divide out the goods, services, and/or class(es) to which the Office action does not pertain before the response deadline, a response to the Office action is not due in the new (child) application(s) created by the division of the application;
(2) If an Office action pertaining to less than all the bases in a multiple-basis application is outstanding, and the applicant files a request to divide out the goods/services having the basis or bases to which the Office action does not pertain before the response deadline, a response to the Office action is not due in the new (child) application(s) created by the division of the application; or
(3) In a multiple-basis application in which a notice of allowance has issued, if the applicant files a request to divide out the goods/services having the basis or bases to which the notice of allowance does not pertain before the deadline for filing the statement of use, the new (child) applications created by the division are not affected by the notice of allowance.
(f) Signature. The request to divide must be signed by the applicant, someone with legal authority to bind the applicant (e.g., a corporate officer or general partner of a partnership), or a practitioner who meets the requirements of §11.14, in accordance with the requirements of §2.193(e)(2).
(g) Section 66(a) applications – change of ownership with respect to some but not all of the goods or services. (1) When the International Bureau of the World Intellectual Property Organization notifies the Office that an international registration has been divided as the result of a change of ownership with respect to some but not all of the goods or services, the Office will construe the International Bureau’s notice as a request to divide. The Office will record the partial change of ownership in the Assignment Services Branch, and divide out the assigned goods/services from the original (parent) application. The Office will create a new (child) application serial number, and enter the information about the new application in its automated records.
(2) To obtain a certificate of registration in the name of the new owner for the goods/services that have been divided out, the new owner must pay the fee(s) for the request to divide, as required by §2.6 and paragraph (b) of this section. The examining attorney will issue an Office action in the child application requiring the new owner to pay the required fee(s). If the owner of the child application fails to respond, the child application will be abandoned. It is not necessary for the new owner to file a separate request to divide.
(3) The Office will not divide a section 66(a) application based upon a change of ownership unless the International Bureau notifies the Office that the international registration has been divided.