ICYMI, a new Trademark Manual of Examining Procedure (TMEP) was released by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) last month. The July 2021 revision replaces and supersedes the October 2018 version, and it incorporates final rules, examination guides, and Supreme Court decisions that have issued since then.
On August 4, 2021, the U.S. Department of Commerce filed applications to register several USPTO trademarks. The applications are part of ongoing efforts by the USPTO to combat frauds committed against trademark owners and applicants.
Businesses at home and abroad are becoming more and more aware of the value and benefits of a U.S. trademark registration. Unfortunately, along with the historic surge of new trademark filings over the past year (see our blog on the surge), the USPTO has also seen an increase in suspicious submissions ranging from inaccurate to fraudulent.
The American Apparel & Footwear Association welcomed the reintroduction of the SHOP SAFE Act today. The bipartisan bill establishes trademark liability for online marketplace platforms when a third-party sells a counterfeit that poses a risk to consumer health or safety (and when that platform does not follow certain best practices).
H.R. 6058 (116th): SHOP SAFE Act of 2020 w/ machine translation by DeepL
To amend the Trademark Act of 1946 to provide for contributory liability for certain electronic commerce platforms for use of a counterfeit mark by a third party on such platforms, and for other purposes.
This Act may be cited as the Stopping Harmful Offers on Platforms by Screening Against Fakes in E-commerce Act of 2020 or the SHOP SAFE Act of 2020.
2.Contributory liability for electronic commerce platforms
Section 32 of the Act entitled An Act to provide for the registration and protection of trademarks used in commerce, to carry out the provisions of certain international conventions, and for other purposes, approved July 5, 1946 (commonly known as the Trademark Act of 1946) (15 U.S.C. 1114), is amended by inserting at the end the following:
(A)An electronic commerce platform shall be contributorily liable for infringement by a third-party seller participating on the platform for use in commerce of a counterfeit mark in connection with the sale, offering for sale, distribution, or advertising of goods that implicate health and safety, unless the following requirements are met:
(i)The third-party seller is available for service of process in the United States.
(ii)Before any alleged infringing act by the third-party seller, the platform demonstrates that the platform took each of the following reasonable steps to prevent such use on the platform:
(I)Verified through governmental identification and other reliable documentation the identity, principal place of business, and contact information of the third-party seller.
(II)Required the third-party seller to verify and attest to the authenticity of goods on or in connection with which a registered mark is used.
(III)Imposed on the third-party seller as a condition of participating on the platform contractual requirements that—
(aa)the third-party seller agrees not to use a counterfeit mark in connection with the sale, offering for sale, distribution, or advertising of goods on the platform; and
(bb)the third-party seller consents to the jurisdiction of United States courts with respect to claims related to the third-party seller’s participation on the platform.
(IV)Displayed conspicuously on the platform the verified principal place of business, contact information, and identity of the third-party seller, the country of origin and manufacture of the goods, and the location from which the goods will be shipped.
(V)Required each third-party seller to use images that the seller owns or has permission to use and that accurately depict the actual goods offered for sale on the platform.
(VI)Implemented at no cost to the registrant proactive technological measures for screening goods before displaying the goods to the public to prevent any third-party seller’s use of a counterfeit mark in connection with the sale, offering for sale, distribution, or advertising of goods on the platform.
(VII)Implemented at no cost to the registrant a program to expeditiously disable or remove from the platform a listing by any third-party seller that reasonably could be determined to have used a counterfeit mark in connection with the sale, offering for sale, distribution, or advertising of goods.
(VIII)Terminated use of the platform by any third-party seller that has engaged in more than three instances of use of a counterfeit mark in connection with the sale, offering for sale, distribution, or advertising of goods on the platform.
(IX)Implemented at no cost to the registrant technological measures for screening third-party sellers to ensure that sellers who have been terminated do not rejoin or remain on the platform under a different seller identity or alias.
(X)Provided the information verified under clause (I) of each third-party seller that used a counterfeit mark in connection with the sale, offering for sale, distribution, or advertising of goods on the platform to relevant law enforcement and, upon request, the registrant.
(B)In this paragraph:
(i)The term counterfeit mark has the meaning given that term in section 34(d)(1)(B).
(ii)The term electronic commerce platform means any electronically accessed platform that includes publicly interactive features that allow for arranging the sale, purchase, payment, or shipping of goods, or that enables a person other than an operator of such platform to sell or offer to sell physical goods to consumers located in the United States.
(iii)The term goods that implicate health and safety means goods the use of which can lead to illness, disease, injury, serious adverse event, allergic reaction, or death if produced without compliance with all applicable Federal, State, and local health and safety regulations and industry-designated testing, safety, quality, certification, manufacturing, packaging, and labeling standards.
(iv)The term third-party seller means a person other than the electronic commerce platform who uses the platform to arrange for the sale, purchase, payment, or shipping of goods.
(C)Nothing in this paragraph may be construed to limit liability for direct infringement.
Trademarks are one of the major underpinnings of entrepreneurship. Without these legal protections, entrepreneurs wouldn’t be able to distinguish their brand from others or prevent others from infringing on its usage. We would live in a world of copycats, and consumers would be playing a game of cha
As restaurants have changed or grown their goods and services since early 2020, their trademark portfolios have also expanded into new trademark registration classes.When inside dining closed across the United States, the existing trend towards food delivery accelerated. While an already high 58% of adults said that they ordered takeout or delivery for dinner during the last week of February 2020, a remarkable 66% of adults said that they ordered takeout or delivery for dinner in a given week in November 2020, with takeout or delivery lunch up from 37% to 47%.