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Director's Forum: A Blog from USPTO's Leadership

Friday Jan 20, 2012

Remarkable Performance Results in Trademarks

Guest blog by Commissioner for Trademarks Debbie Cohn
 
There’s no question that electronic filing has changed the nature of trademarks, and a look at our performance dashboard for the first quarter of fiscal year 2012 really shows some remarkable results. Trademark pendency is at historically low levels and much of the reason for this is because some 75% of all trademark applications are filed and processed electronically. We’re particularly proud to report that disposal pendency – the time from when an application is filed until a trademark is registered or abandoned – is the lowest it’s ever been at 10.2 months. In fact, it’s been under 11 months for the past seven quarters in a row.

Likewise, pendency for applications involved in inter partes proceedings or appeals have also been reduced to an all-time low of 12.1 months. All of this while the number of application filings have increased 7.8% over the same period last year. First action pendency, which measures the time it takes for a new application to receive an initial response from our office was at 3.2 months at the end of the first quarter.

Aside from speed, trademark quality is another critical measure we consistently seek to improve. When you study the dashboard, you’ll see our quality results are mixed. Our first and final action quality are slightly less than target, although a more rigorous measure that defines the “excellence” of a first office action is above target. This new measure was introduced last year to set a higher standard in evaluating an examiner’s writing, evidence, and search strategy and the results exceed our target by 11 percent.

Our evaluation of quality is an ongoing process, with final results measured at the end of the fiscal year. Results are used for improving and developing policy and training guides and manuals to reinforce and ensure the quality of the trademark register. We welcome any feedback you have on how we can improve the presentation or information presented. We have a dedicated mailbox for your comments and we look forward to hearing from you.

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