Melissa Dillenbeck

About Melissa Dillenbeck

Melissa S. Dillenbeck counsels her clients on mission critical marketing practices, focusing on trademark portfolio management, brand selection, and advertising and promotion law. Melissa is co-chair of the firm’s Advertising and Promotions Team. She works with companies in a variety of industries, ranging from consumer products to health care, and helps her clients understand the intersection of branding and modern global commerce.

Protect Your Brand: U.S. Customs and Border Protection as Part of Your IP Enforcement Team

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Intellectual property rights holders are constantly seeking creative ways to protect their brands, including preventing counterfeit products from entering the marketplace.  There are the traditional methods – such as federal trademark registration with the United States Patent and Trademark Office – that are well-known to most companies.  However, many companies are less familiar with the high-value, low-cost enforcement tools available through a Customs Recordation filing with United States Customs and Border Protection.

United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) can be a vital partner in your company’s efforts to enforce its trademarks and copyrights, and to stop counterfeit imports.  Intellectual property enforcement is currently a “Priority Trade Issue” for CBP, and the increased focus on such enforcement is highly beneficial to companies who can then leverage CBP’s database and workforce to identify and stop counterfeit product imports.  CBP uses the information contained in its database of recorded trademarks and copyrights in order to target and seize imports of counterfeit and pirated goods at various U.S. ports of entry.  In FY 2019, CBP seized more than 27,000 shipments containing counterfeit goods, enforcing over 18,500 active recordations1.  Notably, CBP rarely takes action to detain or seize goods displaying trademarks or copyrights that are not recorded; therefore, it is critical to include CBP recordation as part of your enforcement strategy.

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New US Counsel Rule For Foreign TMs Promises Sea Change

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This month’s dramatic announcement by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office that all foreign domiciled trademark applicants, registrants and parties to USPTO trademark proceedings will now be required to retain U.S. counsel is expected to result in the most significant practical change to domestic trademark prosecution practice in years.

For casual observers, this new rule — set to be effective on Aug. 3, 2019 — may have arrived as an unexpected, or even shocking, development. After all, with this announcement, literally tens of thousands of active, foreign-domiciled participants in the trademark processes of the USPTO will suddenly now require representation by a U.S. attorney, altering years of common practice.

Moreover, the time from announcement to implementation — only 32 days — is remarkably short for agency action of any kind, let alone a new rule set to transform the role of trademark practitioners in relation to a massive class of new clients.

Read the full article on Law360.