CCFN Helps Secure Welcome Improvements to How USPTO Reviews GI-Related Applications

May 28th, 2020

Last month, the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) issued new guidance on how the USPTO examiners should consider generic terms as it reviews new trademark applications.

Through PTO’s legal process, CCFN provided information to be considered by PTO during a rigorous internal process to help address concerns raised by CCFN members that harmed users of common food names. The improvements incorporated into USPTO’s new examination guidance significantly clarify and improve review procedures for certain trademarks related to generic cheese or meat names, creating a more consistent process that will protect the interests of U.S. manufacturers, farmers and consumers.

CCFN joined with the U.S. Dairy Export Council, National Milk Producers Federation, North American Meat Institute, National Association of State Departments of Agriculture and American Farm Bureau Federation to issue a joint statement touting this development that will bolster protections for common food names.

“The U.S. remains the preeminent leader on intellectual property (IP) rights and, given the critical importance of safeguarding the rights of consumers and other stakeholders in a balanced IP system, sets a global example for a system that fairly protects truly distinctive products and common name goods alike. This recent step further deepens U.S. leadership in this arena,” said CCFN Executive Director Jaime Castaneda.

CCFN members who would like more detail on the updated process can contact CCFN.