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Archived updates for Monday, January 30, 2006

Suffering from Trademark Trolls?

"Isn't it time for trademark practitioners to demand that the USPTO and the TTAB crack down on trademark trolls?" asks John Welch at the TTABlog.
Patent law reformers are upset at what they call "patent trolls" -- individuals or companies that take improper advantage of the patent system. But what about the trademark system? It has its own "trademark trolls" who take improper advantage of the system by filing groundless requests for extension of time to oppose (now facilitated by ESTTA), or by filing opposition or cancellation proceedings, or by suing or threatening to sue legitimate applicants and owners. A patent troll at least has to get its hands on an issued patent; a trademark troll need only claim common law rights in a supposed "mark" in order to make its threats.
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