On June 22, 2016, the USPTO issued a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register seeking comment on “Changes in Requirements for Affidavits or Declarations of Use, Continued Use, or Excusable Nonuse in Trademark Cases”. Comments are due on or before August 22, 2016.
Based on the success of the pilot program for this initiative aimed at cracking down on registration and maintenance of registrations covering numerous products and services (all of which may not in fact be used in commerce) and to clear dead wood off the register, the USPTO proposes to revise the rules in parts 2 and 7 of title 37 of the Code of Federal Regulations to allow the USPTO to require the submission of –during the examination of affidavits or declarations of continued use or excusable nonuse filed pursuant to sections 8 or 71 of the Trademark Act, 15 U.S.C. 1058, 1141k–to require the submission of information, exhibits, affidavits or declarations, and additional specimens of use as may be reasonably necessary for the USPTO to verify the accuracy of claims that a trademark is in use in connection with the goods/services listed in the registration.
Read the Federal Register notice here.