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Wednesday Jul 20, 2011

Trademarks Dashboard Overview

Guest Blog by USPTO Commissioner for Trademarks Debbie Cohn

The USPTO introduced the Trademarks Dashboard for the first time in May to provide quarterly access to trademark metrics. This month, we are pleased to announce a number of changes to the dashboard based on feedback we received from visitors to the site. We hope you agree that the changes make the presentation and displays of the information more clear and understandable.

Sharing performance measures is one of the many ways the USPTO communicates its role in protecting intellectual property by reporting progress on the most critical metrics. The Trademarks Dashboard gives the public access to information on trademark pendency, quality, application filings, registrations, and an assessment of inventory for pending applications as well as new applications awaiting the examiner’s first office action. This information should help users better understand our processes, and enable applicants to make more informed decisions when filing and responding to office actions.

Pendency for trademarks (the measure of time following receipt of a trademark application and either a first action or final action) continues at historically low levels as measured by the time from filing to first action, which is the first substantive examination action, and at disposal or total pendency, which is the average time from filing to registration, notice of allowance or abandonment of the application. First action pendency has maintained a 2.5 – 3.5 month range on a consistent basis every month since April 2007. Disposal pendency continues to decline as more applications are filed and processed electronically – 10.2 months on average and 12.1 months on average including those applications that were either suspended or involved in inter partes processing – a new measure that has been added to the dashboard this month. The dashboard provides greater visibility by showing both pendency metrics based on the method of filing which is a more helpful way to look at pendency and may influence applicants based on how important timing is to their particular application.

Quality is another critical measure for trademarks at the USPTO. Evaluating quality results allows us to develop or improve policy and training guides and manuals. We continue to look for ways to improve quality as evidenced by the new “excellent office action” measure introduced this year to define excellence of the entire first office action. The current first and final action measures deliver quality results above 95 percent, but are limited to a determination of whether the examiner made the correct decisions regarding registrability. The new measure adds rigorous criteria regarding the quality of the examiner's writing, evidence and search strategy.

For those interested in more detail on the numbers found in the charts, a link to the spreadsheet is located at the bottom of the dashboard to show the data associated with each measure.

We hope you’ll find the changes in the Trademarks Dashboard to be an improvement and we welcome any feedback you have on how we can make it even better. A dedicated mailbox has been set up for your comments and we intend to monitor your feedback carefully. We look forward to hearing from you.

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