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USPTO announces trademark consistency pilot program
September 29, 2008

In a notice today, the USPTO announced a new trademark consistency initiative. Under the new initiative, applicants who believe a substantive or procedural issue has been addressed in a "significantly different manner" in two applications may raise the issue for consistency review. This is subject to four requirements:

  1. the request is based on co-pending applications or an application and a registration owned by the same legal entity or a successor in interest (e.g., assignee);
  2. the registration(s) involved was issued less than one year prior to the date of the request;
  3. at least one of the applications in the request is in a pre-publication status at the time of the request; and
  4. the allegedly inconsistent treatment has already occurred.

While applicants are "encouraged" to raise the inconsistency issue with the examining attorney, they may now raise the issue for consistency review by providing a brief description of the inconsistent action and identification of the relevant applications. The pilot program is scheduled to last for one year.

To read the full notice, click here.

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