Change US Trademark filing requirements to follow the "spirit" of TM law.
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Over the last few years, it has become clear that many people and companies are not following the spirit of US trademark law when filing for new trademarks with the US Patent and Trademark Office. They are trademarking common, everyday words and phrases, such as "what" and "best mom" without any intent on actually building a brand around that word or phrase. This problem is particular to trademark use in the Trademark Class 25: Clothing category but is sure to exist in other categories as well.
Furthermore, trademark "trolls" will trademark a word for the express purpose of "owning" that word or phrase and being able to shut down their competition. This is both unfair and unethical and goes against the spirit and intent of both US and International copyright and trademark law.
We, as signers of this petition, request that:
(1) The US Patent and Trademark Office review and modify their requirements for filing new trademarks
(2) Make it possible to file objections to already filed trademarks that are in clear violation of the spirit of trademark law.
(3) Create a requirement for anyone filing a new trademark to prove, through use in commerce and first-right-of-use that they have a legitimate claim to the word, phrase or graphic that new trademark applies to. This would also apply to already registered trademarks that clearly violate the spirit of trademark law and that are being challenged as mentioned in part 2 of this section.
The above are suggestions on what could be done to create a more business-friendly trademark process that will still allow people and businesses to create real, trustworthy and protectable trademarks that follow the spirit of the law without creating an uncompetitive, small business-hostile environment. It is up to the USPTO and lawmakers to come up with an actionable solution if any of the above cannot be met or are unrealistic.
WHY WE CARE
We, as signers of this petition, represent a large group of men, women, and small businesses that make our living, or portions of our living, by the creation of artwork for use in commerce. Trademark law, as applied to new and existing trademarks, is uncompetitive and monopolistic, and currently gives an unfair advantage to anyone who is willing to abuse the system. We simply ask that the USPTO stop allowing this abuse of the spirit and rule of trademark law. It is part of the USPTOs job to review new trademark filings for such misuse of the system but it is clear this is not being accomplished.
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