A new legislation aimed at tackling fraudulent trademark filings was introduced to the House of Representatives on March 12, 2020. The Trademark Modernisation Act would allow for third-party evidence and establish expungement and ex parte proceedings.

Eric Perrott was quoted by World Trademark Review explaining how the act could increase costs for clients:

“I feel that the Trademark Modernisation Act’s expungement and re-examination proceedings have the potential to cost brand owners significant time and money in responding to these allegations of ‘non-use’ that outweigh the intended benefits. Procedurally, a third party without standing or any real interest could ask the USPTO to initiate one of these new proceedings, as long as they produce sufficient ‘evidence’ of non-use. The lack of any standing requirement, the potential for this proceeding to be anonymous, and for the ambiguity in what would be required to initiate and respond to these inquiries is extremely concerning, especially for my clients, who tend to be small businesses with tight legal budgets.”

Source: Little, Trevor. “Trademark Modernisation Act introduced in bid to combat fraudulent lings: reaction” WorldTrademarkReview.com. March 12 2020.