The Trademark Organization Whats Ahead
T he Trademark organization will continue to move aggressively in the next year to continue to implement the objectives of the USPTO's 21st Century Strategic Plan by redesigning its operations to implement e-Government as the primary means of doing business with applicants and registrants. It is expected that this process will become the sole means for processing work inside the examining operation.
The Trademark organization has achieved considerable success in implementing its business process reengineering plan to move from primarily doing business with paper to doing business in an electronic environment. Completion of an electronic file management system, in addition to our currently available electronic filing and information systems permits:
Reduction in cycle times by consolidating separate processes and eliminating the potential for lost or missing papers that create additional delays and poor service;
The ability to access the current full-file contents of pending trademark applications from the USPTO website;
Enhancements in system functionality and number of electronic filing options; and
The ability to offer a totally electronic filing and receiving process to handle applications from U.S. applicants seeking protection of their mark in foreign countries, and requests for protection of marks from foreign countries in the U.S.
As paper records disappear from internal processes, the cost of handling applications and related materials, along with the reliance on higher staffing levels to handle increases in filings, will be substantially reduced. Applicants will see improved quality with the transition to use data submitted or captured electronically to support examination and to publish documents and registrations. Electronic file management presents an opportunity for the USPTO to offer multiple options for filing that allow applicants to select the method of filing that best suits their business needs. The trademark user community will benefit from the introduction of the multi-track examination, included in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Fee Modernization Act of 2004, which will provide trademark owners options for filing at lower fees than are available today.