New USPTO Trademark Examination Guidance

Written July 5, 2019

The US Patent and Trademark Office on June 3, 2019, published an examination guide explaining how the USPTO will examine trademark applications following the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Iancu v. Brunetti, ___U.S. ___, 2019, USPQ2d 232043 (2019).

The guide, entitled “Examination Guidance for Section 2(a)’s Scandalous Marks Provision after Iancu v. Brunetti,” explains that the scandalousness provision of the Lanham Act was found unconstitutional under the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment because it is facially viewpoint-based.

According to the USPTO, applications that received an advisory refusal under the scandalousness provision and that were suspended will be removed from suspension and examined for any other requirements or refusals. Likewise, if an application was previously abandoned after being refused registration under the provision, and is beyond the deadline for filing a petition to revive, a new application may be filed.