AIPLA's Comments on the H.R. 6196, the Trademark Modernization Act of 2020

September 8, 2020

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AIPLA appreciates the Committee’s continued work towards reducing the number of spurious trademark-related filings and deadwood registrations in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office through H.R. 6196, the Trademark Modernization Act of 2020 (“TMA”). AIPLA supports the Trademark Modernization Act, legislation amending the federal Lanham Act to authorize the administrative invalidation by the Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office of registrations covering marks that either have never been used in commerce, or are not used in commerce by the relevant date under the statute for obtaining a registration. AIPLA particularly appreciates the TMA’s recognition of the presumption of irreparable harm upon findings that plaintiffs have prevailed on the merits of their claims or are likely to do so.

AIPLA is appreciative of the Committee’s responsiveness to comments by AIPLA and other stakeholders on earlier versions of the legislation. For example, the legislation does not contemplate a return to the Medinol standard of liability, pursuant to which applications and registrations could be invalidated on a class-wide basis if their owners knew or should have known an underlying representation of use in commerce was inaccurate.

AIPLA has a keen interest to ensure that the new procedures being contemplated by the legislation are implemented in as balanced and effective manner as possible. Therefore, we welcome continued guidance from and discussions with the Committee and others as the legislation moves forward, through legislative history, or by the rulemaking necessary to implement the bill’s provisions.

AIPLA appreciates the Committee’s interest in this important topic and the staff’s significant work on this legislation. We urge the Committee to move forward with the legislation at this time and look forward to continuing to work with the Committee as the process moves forward.

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