AIPLA ACR Options

Suggested Approaches to ACR From Stakeholder Organizations

The following chart outlines various suggested approaches to Accelerated Case Resolution (ACR) developed by the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA). The AIPLA narrative presentation of these suggested approaches may be viewed by clicking here.

These suggestions are the first received by the Board from a stakeholder organization. As other suggestions are received, they too will be posted on the Board's web page for viewing.

AIPLA Option When Selected Discovery Motions Briefs/Exhibits; Filing Schedule Post-Trial Time to Decision
"Fast Track 1" Before discovery opens None No motions except to extend or suspend Party's ACR brief and exhibits filed together; Briefs subject to MSJ page limits; 1-2 declarations with exhibits; No cross-exam; No expert testimony; No Notices of Reliance; 60/30/15 No hearing; 30 days from date of last submitted brief
"Fast Track 2" Before discovery opens None No motions except to extend or suspend Party's ACR brief and exhibits filed together; Briefs subject to trial brief page limits; 1-2 declarations with exhibits; No cross-exam; No expert testimony; Notices of Reliance permitted; 60/30/15 No hearing; 60 days from date of last submitted brief

"Limited Discovery"

[length subject to agreement]

Before discovery opens One round per party: only 20 interrogatories, 10 requests to admit, 10 document requests; normal response times Discovery motions allowed; must be pursued through phone conference; other activities not suspended Party's ACR brief and exhibits filed together; Briefs subject to trial brief page limits; 1-2 declarations with exhibits; No cross-exam; No expert testimony; Notices of Reliance permitted; 60/30/15 No hearing; 60 days from date of last submitted brief
"Up to Full Discovery" No later than opening of P's testimony As much as full discovery, OR agree to limited discovery as above Discovery motions allowed, OR if agreed to limited discovery, motions allowed as above Party's ACR brief and exhibits filed together; Briefs subject to trial brief page limits; 1-2 declarations with exhibits; No cross-exam; No expert testimony; Notices of Reliance permitted; 60/30/15 Hearing allowed, and to be requested concurrently with ACR brief; 60 days from date of last submitted brief or date of hearing
"Custom" No later than opening of P's testimony Open Open Open Hearing allowed, and to be requested concurrently with ACR brief; 90 days from date of last submitted brief or date of hearing

NOTES:

Readers should refer to AIPLA's accompanying narrative presentation for a full explanation of its proposals, as this chart is a synopsis of that narrative. Please click here to access that presentation. While the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board welcomes AIPLA's proposals as a contribution intended to promote the use of Accelerated Case Resolution (ACR), and looks forward to the proposal of other alternatives from other stakeholder organizations, the Board does not endorse any particular proposal. In each case, the parties must agree on what is most appropriate for their needs.

AIPLA's fourth option "Up to Full Discovery" contemplates that the parties may agree to utilize ACR before or after discovery has been taken. Accordingly, it allows for agreement to limited discovery if no discovery has been taken or full discovery, if discovery has already begun when the agreement is reached to utilize ACR.

The 60/30/15 Filing Schedule used in the first two options (which do not allow discovery) contemplates submission by plaintiff of its ACR brief and accompanying evidence within 60 days of the Board order confirming that the parties will utilize ACR. The defendant's brief and evidence are due 30 days later, and the rebuttal brief and evidence, if any, 15 days after that. In the third and fourth options, the schedule is the same except that plaintiff's initial submission is due 60 days from the close of discovery.

The Board may not be able to meet AIPLA's time frames for issuing final decisions if the due date for each decision is measured from the date of receipt of the defendant's brief, since the Board will not be able to consider the case as ready for decision until it determines whether a reply brief has been filed. In other words, under the AIPLA proposals, some of the time to decision may expire while the Board is still waiting to determine if a reply brief will be filed.