From: Kathleen Skinner [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Monday, April 21, 2008 2:37 PM
To: TM Mailing Rules
Cc: 'Brian Beverly'; 'Don Beeson'; email@example.com; 'Mala'; firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: Please do not eliminate certificates of mailing!
Re: Feb. 29 Proposed rules
I greatly appreciate that this proposed rule change was opened to comments. Please do not finalize this rule. Please continue to allow paper filings under a certificate of mailing. A better alternative from our point of view is to charge a reasonable fee for paper filing, thus preserving the flexibility of meeting a filing deadline. Since the payment of an additional fee is available for paper applications, this compromise would be consistent.
It is not the time that the TEAS system is down that is the problem. Without a certificate of mailing, there is no recourse if any of the practitioners' systems (scanner, computer, internet access) are down at the last day for a filing, and unfortunately, in the real world, the last day is when many responses and renewal declarations and other documents are finally ready for filing.
Nor is there any reasonable alternative for a practitioner if the TEAS system, for some reason, does not accept the peculiarities of a particular filing. We have had several filings in recent months which should have been acceptable on TEAS, but were not. When there is sufficient time to consult the excellent TEAS staff, workarounds are possible, but in one recent case, there was no feasible way to file the voluminous evidence in a section 2(f) filing by 9 pm PST; even following the directions of the TEAS staff did not succeed in getting the evidence accepted. Our clients' rights should not hinge on the electronic vagaries of the particular day of filing.
A certificate of mailing also allows parity between trademark applicants in all time zones, since non-East Coast attorneys cannot hand-deliver documents, nor file documents electronically until midnight local time.
Certainly, it would be more efficient for the Trademark operations to enter paper filings than handle the numerous inevitable petitions to revive, which cause disruption in the whole system with respect to later filers. Moreover, petitions to revive are not available for declarations under section 8. I am currently filing renewals for 20-year old registrations, where the registrant has not faced the e-filing process before. Glitches are common in getting documents and specimens from such clients.
Then, there is an element of fairness: brick and mortar businesses in the US (and even brick and mortar attorneys) are just as entitled to trademark rights as the newest IT-based business.
Thank you for considering all members of the Trademark community before finalizing new rules that affect our clients' rights.
Kathleen A. Skinner
Beeson Skinner Beverly, LLP
One Kaiser Plaza Suite 750
Oakland, California 94612
Tel: (510)832-8700 ext 19
Fax: (510) 836-2595