Director's Forum: A Blog from USPTO's Leadership
Record Results for Trademark Pendency
Guest blog by Commissioner for Trademarks Debbie Cohn
This month marks a record for performance by our Trademarks team. It has now been five consecutive years that first action pendency has stayed in the range of our goal to issue a first action between 2.5 and 3.5 months from filing. This record is the result of a number of factors including greater use of the systems, tools, and resources necessary to manage new application filings electronically and to manage them well. It demonstrates how electronic filing and systems have led to more consistent results in our ability to deliver top quality service. A look at our performance dashboard for the second quarter of fiscal year 2012 shows quality and timeliness to first action or disposal either meets or exceeds target goals.
Meanwhile, despite a 7 percent increase in new application filings, trademark pendency to registration continues to remain at historically low levels. Disposal pendency – the time from when an application is filed until a trademark is registered or abandoned – has been under 11 months for the past eight quarters in a row – a record due in part to the increase in electronic processing, which now comprises 75 percent of all trademark applications filed, processed and disposed.
Trademark quality shows improvement – all three indicators are better than their respective targets. Our newest indicator for evaluating quality, introduced last year, as the ‘excellent office action’ standard has been renamed ‘exceptional office action’. The name change is a better reflection of the criteria that set exceptionally high standards for evaluating an examiner’s writing, evidence, and search strategy in preparing the office action. Our evaluation of quality is an ongoing process, and we regularly use the results for improving how we work—from developing policy and training guides and manuals to reinforcing and ensuring the quality of the trademark register.
We welcome any feedback you have on how we can improve this dashboard. Simply email a comment to our dedicated mailbox for Trademarks feedback. We look forward to hearing from you.