Raleigh, NC (April 5, 2010) Smith Anderson lawyers Blake Fricks and Kelli Ovies presented a class entitled "Responses to USPTO Office Actions" to students in Professor Deborah Gerhardt's Trademark Law course at the University of North Carolina School of Law. The class, which was conducted in March, is part of an ongoing collaboration between Smith Anderson and Professor Gerhardt designed to provide a practitioner's perspective on intellectual property subject matter taught at the Law School.
The presentation by Fricks provided a brief summary of the process for applying to register a trademark or service mark at the United States Patent and Trademark Office ("USPTO"). She discussed the overall objectives of responding to office actions issued by the USPTO in connection with such applications, and addressed USPTO registration refusals based on likelihood of confusion. Ovies' presentation focused on addressing USPTO registration refusals for marks that include deceptive matter or are merely descriptive, primarily geographically descriptive, or primarily merely a surname as well as USPTO objections to specimens, descriptions of goods and services, and other relatively technical matters. She provided an on-line demonstration of how responses to USPTO office actions are filed electronically.