The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) began implementing the Trademark Modernization Act of 2020 (TMA) on December 18, 2021. Why should you care? Well, if you’re a business, you should care about your brand, generally, and your mark is a visible reminder to the world of that brand: It is what separates your business from the rest of the pack. TMA makes taking care of that brand a lot easier – but it also presents potential new threats to current registrations.
Reflecting on his 27 years at Amazon from what he terms “Day 1” to his upcoming retirement as its CEO, Jeff Bezos recently sent a Letter to Shareholders recapping the 2020 year for Amazon. Although he discussed a number of thoughts, his principal point about why Amazon is so big and so popular rang through clearly.
Did you know that in the U.S., you can legally buy a single-seat ultralight aircraft and attempt to learn to fly it in uncontrolled airspace without a single lesson? But what do you think the odds are that you’ll be able to successfully take off, maneuver and land during that first flight without a mishap, using only online videos and instruction manuals as your training?
Companies that develop solid IP portfolios during downturns – especially severe downturns – stand to emerge from hard times in much better positions than do those that simply “hunker down and endure”.
Many inventors do not understand a very basic prerequisite to getting a patent: the duty to fully disclose to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) how to make and use the inventor’s invention. The rationale for this requirement is deeply embedded in the U.S. Constitution—through amplifying statutes and case law—the implication of which is this: “You (the inventor) tell us what you know and we (‘the people,’ more specifically, the government) will give you exclusive rights to your invention for a certain duration.”