Two weeks ago, INTA hosted United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) delegates at the Association’s headquarters in New York City. The USPTO Commissioner for Trademarks, Mary Boney Denison, the TTAB Deputy Chief Administrative Judge, Susan Richey, and the Managing Attorney for Trademark Outreach, Craig Morris, led the roundtable discussion and answered questions.
This is the fourth year that INTA and the USPTO have partnered to host these discussions. They provide a unique opportunity for IP attorneys and trademark administrators to learn about new USPTO services and updates to current programs and to ask relevant questions of the delegates.
From the USPTO, Mary Boney Denison and Craig Morris reported on the current trademark operation statistics. They also walked participants through initial application filing options, electronic filing issues and discussed ongoing projects at the USPTO; such as a program to permit changes to goods identifications post-registration where technology changes have prevented registrants from being able to claim use and solutions to the “deadwood” on the Trademark Register.
To enhance the user experience, the USPTO has been updating its website, transferring more of its services to a digital platform, hiring more trademark examiners, and accepting comments/question through the TMFeedback mailbox. Participants were also given practice tips for making the trademark filing process easier, and perhaps even more enjoyable!
Deputy Chief Administrative Trademark Judge Susan Richey provided a high-level update from the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. The TTAB hired two new interlocutory attorneys this past year and is in the process of hiring three new administrative trademark judges. Additionally, the TTAB has been engaged in significant stakeholder outreach and is currently working on a rules package to update its processes and procedures, which it anticipates will be available for public comment sometime in fall 2015. TTAB hearings are open to the public and the hearing schedule is published monthly online.
Questions were taken from the room. Both the USPTO and the TTAB emphasized and encouraged professionals to reach out to them with additional questions or comments.
For a list of upcoming roundtables, please visit INTA’s website.