Daily Archives: April 13, 2016

USCIS Completes the H-1B Cap Random Selection Process for FY 2017

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on April 7, 2016, that it has received enough H-1B petitions to reach the statutory cap of 65,000 visas for fiscal year (FY) 2017. USCIS has also received more than the limit of 20,000 H-1B petitions filed under the advanced degree exemption, also known as the master’s cap.

USCIS received over 236,000 H-1B petitions during the filing period, which began April 1, including petitions filed for the advanced degree exemption. On April 9, USCIS used a computer-generated random selection process, or lottery, to select enough petitions to meet the 65,000 general-category cap and the 20,000 cap under the advanced degree exemption. USCIS will reject and return all unselected petitions with their filing fees, unless the petition is found to be a duplicate filing.

The agency conducted the selection process for the advanced degree exemption first. All unselected advanced degree petitions then became part of the random selection process for the 65,000 limit.

As announced on March 16, 2016, USCIS will begin premium processing for H-1B cap cases no later than May 16, 2016.

USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions that are otherwise exempt from the cap. Petitions filed on behalf of current H-1B workers who have been counted previously against the cap will also not be counted towards the congressionally mandated FY 2017 H-1B cap. USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions filed to:

  • Extend the amount of time a current H-1B worker may remain in the United States;
  • Change the terms of employment for current H-1B workers;
  • Allow current H-1B workers to change employers; and
  • Allow current H-1B workers to work concurrently in a second H-1B position. U.S. businesses use the H-1B program to employ foreign workers in occupations that require highly specialized knowledge in fields such as science, engineering, and computer programming.

Please contact our office if you have any questions regarding the information in this article.

Sol Chocron, LLM
Santucci Priore, P.L.
Venezuelan Attorney / U.S. Immigration Law Clerk

Non-U.S. Businesses Registering Trademarks in The United States of America

 

A Warm Welcome To The U.S.A.

The United States welcomes the filing of trademark applications by foreign business owners.  …so much so, that Section 44(e) of the Trademark Act does not require that such an applicant make actual use of the mark in the United States. See, Trademark Act, § 44(e), 15 U.S.C. § 1126(e); Also see, Crocker Nat’l Bank v. Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, 223 U.S.P.Q. (BNA) 909, 1984 TTAB LEXIS 22 [15] (TMT App. Bd. 1984)(“Use in commerce over which Congress has control need not be alleged…”).  “Section 44(e) gave such foreign applicant a significant advantage over other applicants in procuring a registration in this country.” Id.; See also, Crocker at [15]-[16].

The treaty that arose from the Paris International Trademark Convention, as well as other international conferences, does away with the requirement of “use” that is found in the other parts of the United States Lanham Act governing trademarks in the case of foreign applicants who wish to obtain a United States Trademark Registration based on ownership of a corresponding trademark registration in a foreign nation. The Trademark Law Treaty Implementation Act of 1998 (TLTIA) Pub. L. No. 105-330, 112 Stat. 3064 (15 U.S.C. 1051) states: “The requirement in §§1(a) and 1(b) for the applicant to state the mode or manner in which the mark is used or intended to be used on or in connection with the goods (the “method of use clause”) is eliminated.” See, Crocker Nat’l Bank v Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, 223 USPQ 909 (TMT App.Bd. 1984)(Application to register U.S. trademark based on foreign application need not allege or show use of the mark in commerce, as otherwise required in Lanham Act because such requirement is inconsistent with international treaty); See also, In re Societe D’Exploitation de la Marque Le Fouquet’s, 2003 TTAB LEXIS 407.

China, Germany, Mexico, Brazil, Italy, Venezuela, Canada, France, Israel, Ireland, Iran, Colombia, India and many other countries joined as “Contracting Parties” to the Paris International Trademark Convention.”  For a list of Contracting Parties, see http://www.wipo.int/treaties/en/ShowResults.jsp?treaty_id=2

If your business domiciled outside the United States and it either: 1) owns a trademark registration in a country other than the United States; or 2) has filed an application to register a trademark in a country other than the United States (in the past 6 months), your business might be entitle to significant advantages under United States law.  Contact us immediately.  Some of the benefits must be requested in a limited amount of time.  The attorneys at the firm of Santucci Priore, P.L. have considerable experience in protecting the rights of clients in many countries participating in this exciting world economy.

Please contact us if you have any questions about registering a trademark for a non-U.S. business.