USPTO Implements The Trademark Law Treaty

September 1, 1999 – Firm News

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is set for implementation on October 30, 1999 of the changes to U.S. trademark law and practice under the Trademark Law Treaty. Final rule changes pursuant to the Trademark Law Treaty Implementation Act were issued on September 8, 1999, and are available in Adobe Acrobat™ format from the PDF link above. Not since implementation of the Intent-To-Use system in 1989 have we had such a large overall change in United States trademark practice. The Trademark Law Treaty harmonizes administrative procedures for trademark applications, assignments, renewals, etc. by setting for maximum requirements that a member country can impose. The U.S. implementing legislation also includes several changes to U.S. practice that are unrelated to the Trademark Law Treaty. These include a new standard for revival of applications, a specific refusal for marks considered functional, a change in the signatory standard for the appropriate person to sign on behalf of an Applicant or Registrant, a clarification of the use of certification marks by the owner, and several "housekeeping" rule changes regarding specimens, color marks and the deletion of both the method of use clause and the indication of the type of commerce. The amendments to the rules will no doubt help to streamline procedural requirements for trademark applications, and trademark maintenance in the United States. Care must be given, however, in complying with the numerous changes that will be effective October 30, 1999. Please contact us at if you wish further information on these significant changes to U.S. trademark practice. Further information will also be contained in the Oblon, Spivak newsletter.