the Trademark Resource for Start-Ups, Business Owners, Marketing Professionals, In-House Counsel, and Attorneys

November 2015

Image of Email Address Symbol followed by the words Why I Use My Email Address as Applicant's Email Address on a Trademark ApplicationThings are so much easier nowadays. Most communications with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) occur through email (assuming you’ve authorized that form of communication). How many of us even remember the nightmare that used to be Express Mail? In fact, it’s not even called Express Mail anymore—it’s now called Priority Mail Express. Anyway, communication with the USPTO is almost all about email now. continue reading→

Picture of a weird uncle to represent the supplemental register

The United States Patent and Trademark Office’s (“USPTO”) supplemental register reminds me of the odd relative every family seems to have. Essentially, the supplemental register is like your perpetually drunk uncle or aggressively new age aunt. They show up at Thanksgiving, and you think to yourself, why are you even here?

The supplemental register is weird because it is a register for marks that are not really marks at all. The Lanham Act states that “[a]ll marks capable of distinguishing applicant’s goods or services and not registrable on the principal register … which are in lawful use in commerce … may be registered on the supplemental register.” 15 U.S.C. § 1091. So let me get this straight—marks that do not actually distinguish goods or services but that might one day be able to do so can be registered? Isn’t that just a way of registering a potential mark? Strange. continue reading→