Trademark Law Updates | New Proposed Legislation

August 11, 2008

Congress Sends Bill Regarding Appointment of Admin Patent and Trademark Judges to President Bush for Signing

To amend Title 35, United States Code, and the Trademark Act of 1946
H.R.6362, S.3295, 8/5/2008

Congress Sends Bill Regarding Appointment of Admin Patent and Trademark Judges to President Bush for Signing

On August 5, 2008,  t he U.S. Congress sent to President George Bush for signing a bill that transfers the power to appoint administrative trademark judges and administrative patent judges from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) to the Secretary of Commerce.

Previously, under the Intellectual Property and Communications Reform Act of 1999, the power to appoint was transferred from the Secretary of Commerce to the USPTO Director.  The present legislation seeks to vest such power back to the Commerce Secretary after the constitutionality of such grant of power to the USPTO was challenged before the U.S. Supreme Court in the case Translogic Technology v. Dudas, No. 07-1303. This case remains pending.

The bill further states: ‘‘(d) DEFENSE TO CHALLENGE OF APPOINTMENT.— It shall be a defense to a challenge to the appointment of an administrative patent judge on the basis of the judge’s having been originally appointed by the Director that the administrative patent (or trademark) judge so appointed was acting as a de facto officer.’’

Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (VT) introduced the bill on July 21, 2008. On July 22, 2008, the Senate unanimously approved the bill without any amendment.  The House of Representatives referred its own version of the bill on June 25, 2008 to the House Committee on the Judiciary.  Rep. Howard L.  Berman (CA-28) introduced the House version on the floor on June 25, 2008.

It turns out that both versions of the House and the Senate were similar.

View a PDF of the proposed legislation

Also See:

More Than $2.4 Million in Grants Released to 13 Jurisdictions to Combat Intellectual Property Theft

USPTO Seeks Comment on Possibility of Lowering Most Trademark Application Fees

USPTO Expands Trademark Law School Pilot Program

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Announces IPR Interim Final Rule

USPTO Issues TEAS 4.9 Release

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Companies Mentioned

Trademark Law

The following companies are mentioned in Trademark Law Updates:

Louis Vuitton Malletier S.A.

Tiffany (NJ) Inc.

Tiffany & Co.

eBay, Inc.

Shokan Coachworks, Inc.

Audi AG

University of Southern California

University of Oklahoma

Smack Apparel Company

Ohio State University

Louisiana State University

Collegiate Licensing Company

NTU Electronics, Inc.

Midway Services, Inc.

Trademark Trial and Appeal Board

MDCO, Inc.

Custom Manufacturing and Engineering, Inc.

Automated Engineering Corp.

Woofies, LLC d.b.a. Woofie’s Pet Boutique

Internet Specialties West, Inc.

International Trademark Association

Haute Diggity Dog, LLC

JA Apparel Corp.

Houndstooth Corp.

Harringbone Creative Services, Inc.

Mars, Inc.

Chute Gerdeman, Inc.

Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc.

Rockstar Games, Inc. d.b.a. Play Pen

Volkswagen of America, Inc.

Able Time, Inc.

Axiom Worldwide, Inc.

Manheim Auctions, Inc.

North American Medical Corp.

Auction Management Solutions, Inc.

Adagen Medical International, Inc.

Pfizer Inc.

Utah Lighthouse Ministry

JetAngel.com

Discovery Computing, Inc.

ESS Entertainment 2000, Inc. e.s.a. Rockstar Games, Inc.

Foundation for Apologetic Information & Research

City of Chicago

General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists

Graffiti Blasters

General Conference Corporation of Seventh-day Adventists

Creation Seventh Day & Adventist Church

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

The Associated Press

Super Duck Tours, LLP

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