On December 27, 2020, former President Trump signed a wide-ranging bill, “The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2020,” into law. While we all know about the stimulus checks that resulted from that legislation, there was something else with a big impact in the legislation. The new law also contained the Trademark Modernization Act (“TM Act”) and the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act (“CASE Act”). These laws will go a long way to update intellectual property law procedures in the U.S.
The Trademark Modernization Act
The TM Act seeks to update and speed up the trademark registration process, including dealing with still active trademarks that aren’t in commercial use. Some of the most important changes include:
The Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act
The CASE Act creates a new small-claims court for copyright cases seeking damages under $30,000. Copyright claims are federal cases, which claimants must file in federal court. Taking a claim to federal court can be expensive and time-consuming for copyright owners. With the increasing popularity of the internet came increasing violations of copyrights and the CASE Act seeks to make the process of litigating a claim easier.
Under the CASE Act, copyright owners can use the new court to seek damages under $30,000, a declarative judgment of non-infringement, and pursue notices under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The CASE Act will likely increase copyright claims for businesses, particularly those that create, license, distribute, or host content.
If you need advice on intellectual property matters or need guidance on how new intellectual property laws will affect you or your business, contact Carrie Ward at 856-354-7700 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.