Highlights of the 2016-17 Association Year

AuthorAmy Mandel
Published in Landslide® magazine, Volume 10, Number 1, a publication of the ABA Section of Intellectual Property Law (ABA-IPL), ©2017 by the American Bar Association. Reproduced with permission. All rights reserved. This
information or any portion thereof may not be copied or disseminated in any form or by any means or stored in an electronic database or retrieval system without the express written consent of the American Bar Association.
Highlights of the 2016–17 Association Year
eligibility statute to ensure useful inventions are protected;
revise Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) proceedings
to apply the plain meaning claim constructions as applied in
district courts; and prohibit diversion of US Patent and Trade-
mark Ofce (USPTO) user fees to other agencies within the
Department of Commerce.
Random Trademark Audits
August 18, 2016
The Section wrote to the USPTO to provide written
comments on the “Changes in Requirements for Afdavits or
Declarations of Use, Continued Use, or Excusable Nonuse
in Trademark Cases.” The Section supported the USPTO
goal of promoting the integrity of the trademark register
by encouraging accuracy in the listing of goods/services
for which use or continued use of a mark is claimed and
acknowledged that the proposed rules would facilitate the
more streamlined and effective processes.
Comments to the USPTO on
Reformatted Trademark Declarations
October 24, 2016
The Section continued its support for the goal of promoting
the integrity of the Trademark Register by reformatting the
veried statements made in connection with applications,
allegations of use, and post-registration afdavits, to separate
out the clauses to improve readability and to require the
signatory to check a box next to each statement in order to
validate an electronic submission. The Section made specic
suggestions to improve the accuracy and functionality
of the system and suggested that mere reformatting
of the declaration may not be sufcient for signicant
improvements that would achieve the USPTO’s goal.
Throughout the year, the Section works on behalf of its mem-
bers and the profession in identifying, watching, and analyzing
key issues and to bring attention to intellectual property issues
before Congress, the executive branch, and the judiciary.
This year, ABA-IPL’s comments included those conveyed on
a variety of IP matters: to government ofces, to the presi-
dential transition team, and in conjunction with our ABA
colleagues on matters both domestically and internationally.
Comments of the ABA Section of Intellectual
Property Law to the Presidential Transition Team
on Issues Relating to the United States Intellectual
Property System
December 21, 2016
The Section sent a letter to the presidential transition team not-
ing that protecting the industries that drive our economy is an
essential role of our federal government. The ABA-IPL Sec-
tion’s comments were submitted to aid the transition team
in identifying areas where our federal protections need to be
buttressed against the persistent threat of theft. The Section
pointed out that intellectual property laws provide the incentive
needed to promote aggressive private investment in the devel-
opment of new life-saving medicines and medical devices, new
communications technologies, and so much more.
The letter emphasized that as the United States struggles to
maintain its position as the economic and technological world
leader, our intellectual property system provides the protec-
tions necessary to keep inventors and creators from falling
victim to theft both from within and beyond the borders of
our nation. The ABA-IPL Section noted that it has taken on
issues important to the health of our IP system, and therefore
the United States economy, and it included a list of 13 rec-
ommendations that the federal government should undertake
to strengthen the intellectual property system. ABA-IPL’s
recommendations included the need to: revise the patent
From its strength within the American Bar Association, the ABA Section of Intellectual
Property Law (ABA-IPL) advances the development and improvement of intellectual
property laws and their fair and just administration. The Section further s the goals of
its members by sharing knowledge and balanced insight on the full spectrum of intel-
lectual property law and practice, including patents, trademarks, copyright, industrial
design, literary and artistic works, scientic works, and innovation. Providing a forum
for rich perspectives and reasoned commentary, ABA-IPL serves as the voice of intel-
lectual property law within the profession, before policy makers, and with the public.
By Amy Mandel

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