As part of its initiative to “protect the integrity of the U.S. trademark register,” the US Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) issued a Federal Register notice outlining a new administrative process to address fraudulent or improper trademark submissions.
Applications will be removed from examination pending an investigation, and a suspension letter will be issued. All documents associated with this process will be posted in the electronic record, which is available to the public via the Trademark Status and Document Retrieval (TSDR) database.
If the PTO issues a sanction order terminating a pending application, the TSDR records will reflect that order in the application prosecution history. Where the order includes the sanction of termination involving a registration that issued before the administrative process was initiated, the PTO will not terminate the registration, but the online TSDR records will be updated to note that the registration was subject to sanctions and such entries may affect the validity of that registration.
Comments on the notice are due by January 20, 2022.
Practice Note: This is just one of the many ways the PTO is trying to address fraudulent filings. The PTO recently issued sanctions where it found evidence of fraudulent applications and violations of the PTO Rules of Professional Conduct.