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Landslide, American Bar Association Section of Intellectual Property Law

Bolstering Confidence or Burdening Parties? The U.S. Counsel Rule


Through a series of initiatives and rule changes, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has been on a mission to fight fraud and bolster confidence in U.S. trademark registration and administrative proceedings. But, where the USPTO is closing doors, are bad actors finding windows?

One of the USPTO’s more recent initiatives—namely, the implementation of the U.S. counsel requirement—went into effect on August 3, 2019. This article explores whether the USPTO’s goals in implementing the rule have been met and whether parties are finding new, creative ways to circumvent the rule. Although the data is still limited, it is arguably a little of both. When paired with the USPTO’s other initiatives and new policies, it seems the USPTO is making meaningful progress in boosting confidence within the business community and its users.

Please click here to download the full article: Bolstering Confidence or Burdening Parties? The U.S. Counsel Rule.

Amanda Marston is an associate at Holland & Hart LLP in Boulder, Colorado. She specializes in providing comprehensive counseling, strategic advice, enforcement, and litigation support to clients with trademark and copyright needs.

Hope Hamilton is a partner at Holland & Hart LLP in Boulder, Colorado. She specializes in contentious trademark and copyright matters.

©2020. This article was originally published in Landslide, Vol. 13, No. 2, November/December 2020, by the American Bar Association. Reproduced with permission. All rights reserved. This information or any portion thereof may not be copied or disseminated in any form or by any means or stored in an electronic database or retrieval system without the express written consent of the American Bar Association or the copyright holder.

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