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Alt Legal Blog

Your source for news, updates and guidance on all things trademarks and intellectual property.

Top IP and Trademark Topics of 2021

Alt Legal Team | December 09, 2021
4 min read

Here’s a round-up of the biggest stories and trends in IP and trademark law that we’ve seen in 2021. We’ve published several articles and produced webinars on these key topics throughout 2021, so here’s your chance to read up (and “watch up”) so you can be fully prepared to take on the most pressing issues affecting your IP and trademark practice next year. You can expect that these important topics will continue gaining momentum in 2022.

Trademark Modernization Act

The Trademark Modernization Act is gearing up to be one of the most profound changes to US trademark law and procedure in recent history. With the new expungement and reexamination procedures, new timelines for filing office action responses, and the restoration of irreparable harm in suits for injunctive relief, all trademark practitioners are wondering how the changes will affect their practice. We’ve produced extensive materials on the TMA to help you better understand the new laws.

Featured Alt Legal Article

USPTO Implements Trademark Modernization Act (TMA) Final Rule

The USPTO published the Final Rule, Changes to Implement Provisions of the Trademark Modernization Act of 2020 in the Federal Register, effective December 18, 2021. This article summarizes all of the changes reflected in the Final Rule.

New Procedures Under the TMA

Additional TMA Resources:


It’s been all about NFTs this year with NBA Top Shot exploding and celebrities and cutting-edge companies looking to capitalize on their brands and expand their audiences. Trademark and IP attorneys should be preparing to handle questions regarding NFTs, blockchain, and cryptocurrencies, as these topics will undoubtedly continue to gain traction in 2022.

Featured Alt Legal Article

What do Trademark Attorneys Need to Know About NFTs?

IP and cryptocurrency attorney Moish Peltz wrote this guest blog article, providing some background on blockchain, cryptocurrencies, and NFTs and explaining some of the issues that trademark attorneys may encounter.

Additional Resources

Failure to Function Refusals

The past several years have seen significant developments in the practice and procedure of the USPTO’s trademark examination corps. Between the U.S. counsel rule, stricter requirements for webpage specimens, and a number of high-profile SCOTUS cases which shook up long-standing doctrine, the ever-shifting trademark landscape has been a boon to the CLE industry. But nothing has trademark practitioners scratching their heads, and frankly, punching holes in their walls, as much as the USPTO’s confounding new approach to Failure to Function refusals.

Featured Alt Legal Article:

What’s Your Major Malfunction?: Breaking Down the USPTO’s Strange New Breed of Failure to Function Refusals

This guest blog article by former USPTO Examiner John Miranda explains the USPTO’s recent approach to failure to function refusals and how it affects your trademark prosecution strategy.

Additional Resources

Surge in Global Trademark Applications

The COVID-19 pandemic radically altered the global economy and had an unexpected impact on global trademark applications. While in times of economic decline, we typically see a decrease in newly-filed trademark applications, by the end of 2020, IP offices worldwide reported record numbers of newly-filed applications. The trend continued into 2021 as new businesses grew and existing businesses pivoted to new opportunities. Check out these resources and be prepared to help your clients build global IP portfolios and better understand differences in international trademark laws.

Featured Alt Legal Article

Economy Dips, Trademark Applications Soar: Yet Another Unexpected Outcome of 2020

In this article, Alt Legal CEO Nehal Madhani explores the unexpected surge in newly-filed trademark applications around the globe and explains some emerging trends seen among new filings.

Additional Resources:

Lawyers Adopting Technology to Increase Profitability

One of the resounding themes of 2021 is that in our increasingly remote and global work environments, law firms must adopt technology in order to maximize profitability. Lawyers can no longer be tech-averse and they must adopt technology if they want to remain competitive. The good news is that technology can help in many ways including automating administrative, repetitive tasks, freeing up time to focus on more important, billable work. Technology can also be used to offer better perks, more customization, and a more personalized client experience

Featured Alt Legal Article

Top Tech Tools for Lawyers in 2021

In this guest article for the Alt Legal blog, Sharon Miki of Clio describes the types of legal technology tools that the most successful, thriving law firms are using. She recommends specific software and tools and makes suggestions for how to incorporate them into your practice.

Additional Resources:

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