TPAC (Trademark Public Advisory Committee) Meeting - Feb 25, 2010

USPTO Headquarters
Paris Conference Room
Madison East 2nd Floor
600 Dulany Street
Alexandria, VA 22314



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Meeting Agenda - Public Session 9:00 a.m. - 12:50 p.m. (EST)

Please note that TPAC has asked that all presentations be submitted in writing at least two weeks prior to this meeting. Thus, each item below is intended to be for discussion, asking questions and public comments rather than for presentation of information that can be submitted in writing in advance. Opening comments by the featured speaker(s) should not exceed one-fifth of the allotted time.

9:00 - 9:05Introduction and comments by TPAC Chair.
9:05 - 9:15Welcome and brief comments by USPTO Leadership.
9:15 - 9:45Presentation from USPTO Leadership on draft USPTO Five-Year Strategic Plan and discussion thereof, focusing on issues of importance to trademarks.
9:45 - 10:05

Report on Financial Status of the USPTO.

  1. Discussion on the financial status of the Patent Operation with a USPTO designee, including the Patent Operation's current financial forecast for fiscal year 2010 and beyond.
  2. Discussion of the financial status of the Trademark Operation with Trademarks Commissioner Lynne Beresford and/or her designee, including the Trademark Operation's financial forecast for fiscal year 2010 and the financial forecast for the fiscal years beyond.
  3. Discussion with a USPTO designee about if, when and to what extent trademark funds are anticipated to be tapped to cover a shortfall in the Patent Operation: (1) under the present economic forecast; and (2) in the reasonably possible worst-case economic forecast.
10:05 - 10:15

Report from and Discussion with the USPTO Office of the Chief Financial Officer.

  1. Brief presentation of the results of the trademark fees study (most of the information can be conveyed by the written report provided two weeks in advance of this meeting).
10:15 - 10:20>>Break<<
10:20 - 11:10

Discussion with TTAB Judge Gerard Rogers regarding TTAB matters.

  1. Brief report on current TTAB speed statistics and case volume statistics.
  2. Status report on preparing a request for comments on:
    • A possible, alternative fast-track for TTAB opposition and cancellation cases.
    • Making the TTAB more assertive in encouraging settlement.
    • Possible limits on consented extensions.
  3. Status report on getting TBMP up to date, easily searchable and in HTML, including plans for frequency of updates after this revision.
  4. Report on recent developments with ACR, if any.
    • When will there be more procedures or structure available to potential users of ACR?
  5. Discussion regarding how TTAB deals with cases that have lingered on the docket for a very long time.
  6. Discussion of progress toward the TPAC goal of increasing number of precedential TTAB decisions.
  7. Report on change to rules of evidence for proving USPTO records in TTAB proceedings.
11:10 - 11:15>>Break<<
11:15 - 12:05

Discussion with Trademarks Commissioner Lynne Beresford about:

  1. How to encourage the electronic filing of post-application documents such as responses to office actions?:
    • Elimination of the certificates of mailing procedure under TM rule 2.197, or
    • Improvements in e-forms
    • Charging a fee for filing paper responses to office actions.
    • Required e-filing for post-publication amendments to applications
    • Proposal to modify procedures for notices of cancellation
  2. Registration certificate issues:
    • Discussion regarding possible changes to paper registration trademark registration certificates that the USPTO presently issues.
    • Discussion or progress toward the TPAC goal of having electronic certificates of registration with an option to obtain a paper certificate.
  3. Discussion of progress made in addressing the issues raised concerning accurate descriptions of goods and services in light of the Federal Circuit decision in In re Bose Corp. What has developed since the last TPAC public meeting in Alexandria?
  4. Brief report on current Trademark Operation speed and quality performance metrics.
  5. Discussion regarding the excellent first office action initiative.
  6. Discussion of progress toward the TPAC goal of having an electronic complaint and praise procedure.
  7. Discussion of progress toward the TPAC goal of having the TMEP be continuously up to date.
  8. Discussion of progress toward this TPAC goal - If a statement of use ("SOU") is denied approval in an intent-to-use application, the application should become eligible for extensions just as if no improper SOU had been filed.
  9. Discussion of Trademark Operation initiative to assess the user-friendliness of the trademark portions of the USPTO website.
  10. Discussion of Trademark-Automation-of-the-Future project, including what steps are being taken to move this project forward, how user community input will be obtained, funding, and anticipated process.
12:05 - 12:10>>Break<<
12:10 - 12:40

Discussion with the Office of the Chief Information Officer.

  1. Discussion of status of, and plans for, new computer system for the Trademark Operation - Trademarks Next Generation ("TNG").

After this public meeting, TPAC anticipates having a post-lunch TPAC-only executive session in the afternoon to discuss any personnel, privileged and/or confidential matters. After than, TPAC anticipates have a working-session public meeting to work on issues such as scheduling of upcoming telephonic and in-person meetings, identification of to-do items for TPAC members and identification of issues to address in the future.