United States Patent and Trademark Office OG Notices: 06 April 2004
The Trademark Operation Will No Longer Accept Responses to Office Actions that are Transmitted by E-Mail Currently, applicants may transmit responses to Office Actions issued by examining attorneys via e-mail. However, beginning September 20, 2004, the Trademark Operation will cease to maintain the electronic mail boxes (the "ECom" boxes) to which applicants now send responses. Thereafter, applicants wishing to transmit responses electronically must use the Response to Office Action form within the Trademark Electronic Application System (the TEAS Response to Office Action form, hereinafter referred to as "the TEAS form"), which is available at http://www.uspto.gov/teas/index.html. Responses to Office Actions that are transmitted by any other electronic means - for example, responses sent directly to an examining attorney's e-mail address - will not be accepted. This new policy pertains solely to responses to Office Actions issued by examining attorneys. Responses to Office Actions issued by the Intent to Use Division and by the Post Registration Division may be transmitted to the "ECom" boxes maintained by these divisions, namely EComITU@uspto.gov and EcomPRU@uspto.gov. Applicants and the Office benefit substantially when applicants use the TEAS form rather than e-mail. The benefits of using the TEAS form include the following: 1. When an applicant uses the TEAS form and the transmission is successful, the applicant receives immediate acknowledgement that the USPTO received the response. Likewise, if there is some technical defect associated with the response that prevents its successful transmission - for example, if the applicant has attached an image file that is in a format the Office cannot accept - the applicant will be notified immediately that its submission cannot be validated. On the other hand, if an applicant files a response using e-mail, some time may elapse before the Office can notify the applicant whether the transmission was accepted for review. Immediate notification may be particularly important if an applicant submits its response at or near the end of the response period. 2. When an applicant uses the TEAS form, an electronic copy of the response is automatically and instantaneously associated with the appropriate electronic application file. (The USPTO creates electronic files for all applications, including ones that were originally submitted on paper). However, if an applicant transmits a response using e-mail, the response cannot be associated with the file until the response has been printed, and until a scanned image of the printout is entered into the electronic file for the application. Thus, the processing of responses submitted by e-mail uses valuable resources that can be better expended to serve other needs of trademark applicants. 3. A response to an Office Action may include data that is to be entered into the record of an application, such as a disclaimer or an amended identification of goods. When the applicant uses the TEAS form, such data is entered into the record automatically. On the other hand, if the applicant files its response via e-mail, it may be necessary for the Office to enter the data manually, which is costly and subject to error. The following are the Ecom boxes that will not be maintained after September 20, 2004: ECom101@uspto.gov ECom102@uspto.gov Ecom103@uspto.gov ECom104@uspto.gov ECom105@uspto.gov ECom106@uspto.gov ECom107@uspto.gov ECom108@uspto.gov ECom109@uspto.gov ECom110@uspto.gov ECom111@uspto.gov ECom112@uspto.gov ECom113@uspto.gov ECom114@uspto.gov ECom115@uspto.gov ECom116@uspto.gov Call the Trademark Assistance Center at 703.308.9000 for help on trademark matters. Send questions about USPTO programs and services to the USPTO Contact Center (UCC). You can suggest USPTO webpages or material you would like featured on this section by E-mail to the firstname.lastname@example.org. While we cannot promise to accommodate all requests, your suggestions will be considered and may lead to other improvements on the website.