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True Lies, Trademark Fraud, and the Medinol Detour

Posted in Almost Advice, Law Suits, Loss of Rights, Trademarks, TTAB

Trademark types: As promised, here are some of my more detailed thoughts and perspectives (at least for the time being) on the most significant trademark case of the year: In re Bose.

Thanks to Thomson Reuters for asking me to share them with their readers. I look forward to some great dialogue on the likely implications resulting from this long-anticipated trademark fraud decision.

Marketing types: An adversary’s ability to cancel your company’s trademark registration for fraud just got much more difficult with this important Bose decision. Basically, fraud means fraud again.

Instead of your adversary only needing to prove that you should have known that a material statement made to the Trademark Office actually was false at the time you made it (as was the law applied by the U.S. Trademark Office for the last six years), now, simple negligence is no longer enough to establish trademark fraud, instead, an actual intent-to-deceive the Trademark Office must be proven.

Having said that, despite this revived more difficult-to-prove fraud standard, it is as important as ever to treat the statements or representations you make to the Trademark Office as seriously as ever, and with the utmost solemnity, making sure you truly understand what you are signing so you can actually affirm the truth of those statements and representations.

It probably goes without saying that the apparent simplicity of the electronic trademark forms can be quite deceiving. So, there are no stupid questions when it comes to your understanding before signing electronic form documents that are submitted to the Trademark Office.

UPDATE: ExecSense Webinar on the Bose Decision, now available for purchase. Just so you know, all royalties due to me are being donated to The Ronald McDonald House Charity.