Jeff Van Hoosear and Susan Natland Discuss Trademark Predictions and What’s Ahead for the USPTO in 2023 for World Trademark Review

Jeff Van Hoosear and Susan Natland, co-chairs of Knobbe Martens’ trademark and brand protection group, provided commentary for World Trademark Review’s article “US trademark landscape: predictions and cases to follow in 2023.”

In the article, Van Hoosear and Natland shine the spotlight on developments surrounding student-athlete name, image and likeness (NIL) rights, and what to expect from the USPTO and Director Kathi Vidal in the year ahead.

Van Hoosear discussed the criticism the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has received in response to student-athlete NIL policies, which vary from state to state. “It would make the most sense to have a federal bill in 2023 to establish national and uniform NIL guidelines for student-athletes,” he states. “Unfortunately, I do not see that happening in 2023.”

Natland discussed expected priorities for the USPTO and Director Kathi Vidal for the coming year, including furthering diversity and inclusion efforts, advancing anti-counterfeiting measures, more activity in the area of Fintiv guidance and rulemaking, and reducing first-action pendency for trademark applications. She also explained a pilot program the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) is due to implement for holding final pretrial conferences in certain cases to streamline cases that proceed to trial. “This should save time and resources of parties and the TTAB, and should foster the effective and efficient presentation of evidence,” she said.

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