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Washington, D.C. - The Department of Commerce's United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has announced that beginning on August 1, 2006, hearings conducted by the agency's Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences (BPAI) and the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) will be open to the public.
"The USPTO is committed in continuing to improve transparency in our operations to enhance quality and public confidence," said Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO Jon Dudas. "The public's attendance at hearings conducted by the BPAI and TTAB is another way USPTO is providing its customers insight into the patent and trademark examination processes."
Hearings open to the public before the BPAI-an administrative tribunal that hears and decides appeals from adverse decisions of patent examiners and reviews interferences to determine who is the first inventor, and the TTAB-an administrative tribunal that hears and decides appeals and adversarial proceedings involving trademark registrations, will be posted in advance on the USPTO website. A limited number of spaces will be available to the public on a first-come, first-served basis. No advance requests for attendance by the public will be permitted.
For further information and procedures for admittance to board hearings, see: http://www.uspto.gov/web/patents/patog/week30/OG/TOC.htm#ref11.