Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Bill Introduced in Congress to Allow Registration of Governmental Insignia

In October, the CAFC affirmed the TTAB's decisions (here and here) upholding the USPTO's Section 2(b) refusals to register the governmental seals of the District of Columbia and the City of Houston. In re City of Houston and In re The Government of the District of Columbia, 108 USPQ2d 1226 (Fed. Cir. 2013) [precedential]. (Opinion here). [TTABlogged here].

In its District of Columbia decision, the Board observed that "[t]he remedy that applicant seeks is a matter that might be addressed legislatively, but we have no authority to change the words of the statute." On December 13, 2013, several members of the House and Senate introduced a bill to amend the Trademark Act to allow "the Federal government as well as all State and local governments to register with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) marks consisting of their flag, coat of arms and other official seals." Press release here.

The full text of the bill, entitled "A bill to amend the Trademark Act of 1946 to provide for the registration of marks consisting of a flag, coat of arms, or other official insignia of the United States or of any State or local government, and for other purposes, " may be found here.

Read comments and post your comment here.

Text Copyright John L. Welch 2013.


At 9:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yep, this is really important legislation! You gotta protect the public from being confused by those who would impersonate the DC government.


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