Corporate Counsel recently covered the increase in US trademark registrations from Chinese applications for the past few months.  They also discussed what ramifications US-based businesses and the USPTO can expect from this increase.

Eric Perrott was quoted by Corporate Counsel as saying:

The reason for the flood of applications, Eric Perrott said, could be that for years the U.S. government has been telling China to take intellectual property seriously and this could be a response to that. He said that Chinese leaders may be thinking they want to make China the No. 1 IP owner in the world.

Perrott, a trademark and patent attorney at Gerber Law Firm in Washington, D.C., said the applications, both legitimate and “joke,” are flooding the PTO. Although he said there is no evidence that the pendency rate, the time it takes for the PTO to approve a trademark application, is rising yet.

“[Although] there is no evidence yet that it is starting to effect the pendency rate, I have talked to examiners who have said that they are slammed with false filings,” Perrott said.

Perrott, however, believes that even with the “joke” trademark applications, American businesses will suffer because if more trademarks get approved it will be harder for U.S. companies to clear a trademark.

Funding may also become a problem for the PTO, Perrot said. He explained that the office gets a lot of its money from trademark renewal fees, but that those that file the frivolous applications are not likely to renew their trademarks and so the PTO will miss out on fee collection.

Ultimately, Perrott said, the “joke” trademark applications will devalue what it means to have a trademark on a product.

“When trademarks are registered that are not being legitimately used, that is going to have an effect on how valuable it is to own a trademark registration. It’s going to limit what a company can claim in their kind of rights,” Perrott said. “It just cheapens what it means to own a trademark.”

 

Article: Clark, Dan.  “Chinese Trademark Applications Filed With PTO Could Create Headaches for US Businesses”.  Corporate Counsel.  May 21 2018