Intellectual Property Insights from Fishman Stewart
Volume 21, Issue 1

New Year, New Trademark Law

New regulations are coming to trademarks by way of the Trademark Modernization Act of 2020 (“TMA”). The TMA was enacted on December 27, 2020, as part of the 2021 Consolidated Appropriations Act. The law will take effect at the end of 2021 and legislators hope that it will greatly increase the efficiency and effectiveness of trademark registration and protection.

Among the many changes, lawmakers are introducing new methods of canceling registrations that are more expedient and less costly than traditional adverse proceedings. The TMA is also codifying many informal rules to add clarity and collect fees for certain actions. Finally, the TMA will establish that judges that sit on the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board are controlled by the United States Patent and Trademark Office and not “Officers of the United States” subject to Presidential nomination.

Our trademark attorneys are closely examining the TMA and are eager to exercise many of the new provisions to benefit our clients.

Public Domain Day

By Zachary Grant

January 1st is Public Domain Day. As lawyers, much of our work is focused on maintaining order and incentivizing new creations through the use of intellectual property protection. However, it is equally important to remember that innovation also occurs when people can freely stand on the shoulders of giants and innovate from previous works. Public Domain Day celebrates the grand release of recently expired copyrighted works into the public domain. Among the notable works released into the public domain this year are F. Scott Fitzgerald’s book The Great Gatsby, Harold Lloyd’s film The Freshman, and Duke Ellington’s songs Jig Walk and With You.

New Partners

We are proud to announce the elevation of two of our attorneys to partner positions: Christopher Wen and Kameron Bonner. Chris prosecutes patents in a variety of technical areas including mechanical and electro-mechanical devices, and actively participates in the firm’s litigation matters. Kameron is well versed in patent prosecution for a range of technical fields, including vehicle powertrains, electrical circuitry, and medical composite structures, as well as trademark registration and enforcement. We have already witnessed great work from both Chris and Kameron, and we are excited to see their continued growth and success as they take on new responsibilities as partners.