A Sneak Peek into the World of Trademarks in 2020

A Sneak Peek into the World of Trademarks in 2020

Throughout the year, we’ve taken note of changing USPTO guidelines as well as some interesting trademark battle and registration attempts. From T-Mobile’s magenta color claim to Lebron’s infamous “Taco Tuesday” attempt, there’s been a lot for us to learn regarding likelihood of confusion, commonplace message and filing classes, to name a few. It’s been a very busy year in the world of trademarks as people fight to stake their claim on their branding ideas. My guess is that this excitement will continue through 2020.

 

So, what are some things we can expect to see in the coming year?

Baby Blue vs. Something Blue

Well, for starters, it looks like there is still no solid decision to be made on the Blue Ivy Carter mark versus the Blue Ivy mark. The issue between Beyonce’ and Veronica Morales has been one of the most talked about battle of the brands this year. In case you’re unaware (I promise to keep it short), Beyonce’ filed an intent-to-use application to trademark her daughter’s name in several classes. As the application was posted for opposition, Veronica Morales (a wedding planner) swooped in to put a stop to Beyonce’s application arguing that Beyonce’s mark posed a likelihood of confusion issue for her registered brand. As of now, there has been no information regarding who will likely succeed, but I’m sure we’ll hear more about this in the coming year.

CBD and Hemp Trademarks

Historically, CBD and Hemp related trademarks had been refused by the USPTO due to being derived from an illegal substance. However, in December 2018, the regulation of hemp was legalized. Therefore the Controlled Substance Act was removed as grounds for refusal of registration for any applications filed on or after December 20, 2018 that identify (i) hemp or (ii) CBD goods containing less than 0.3% THC.

While registrations cannot currently be obtained for ingestible hemp/CBD products, registration is possible for non-ingestible products. Just this year, there were approximately 2000 trademark applications in relation to hemp/CBD products. I believe that we can expect to see this number rise in 2020 as the laws of marijuana become more lenient.

New Login Requirements

As of October 26, the USPTO has implemented a login requirement in order to access and file forms. According to the USPTO, this was put into place in effort to watch for fraud.

In Spring 2020, the USPTO will be able to verify account holder information and further reduce misuse of electronic forms and fraudulent filings.

In summer 2020, it looks like we may be able to delegate access to filings. This will prevent other customers from filing documents, without authorization, for your trademarks or registrations.

I, for one, can definitely appreciate these attempts to make the filing process more secure!

Higher Filing Fees

Well, they’re making the site more secure… why not raise the fees while they’re at it, right?

It is projected that in August of 2020 we can expect to see higher filing fees.

These fee adjustments are being put into place to support the USPTO’s efforts to ensure that applicants and registrants uphold their duty to limit the coverage of their applications and registrations to only include goods and services as to which they have a bona fide intent to use or actual use.

Another goal of the proposed fee adjustments is to encourage fewer post-registration filings.

 

Whether you’re watching for the latest news in the trademark world, trying to file a trademark for your brand (even if CBD related), or just trying to figure out the best way to protect your brand,  New Millennia Legal Resources will still be here for you… 2020 and beyond.  Check out our comprehensive  trademark package  for more information on how we can help you protect your brand.

Don’t go into 2020 blind! Let us help you!

Author: Eloise M. Kaiser, J.D.

Eloise Kaiser joined New Millennia Legal Resources mid-year 2019 as the Senior Client Liaison. She is a New Orleans native and graduate of Loyola University New Orleans College of Law. As a natural creative in her own right, she holds a special interest in business and intellectual property law.

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