Changes to the Trademark Rules of Practice To Mandate Electronic Filing
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO or Office) amends the Rules of Practice in Trademark Cases and the Rules of Practice in Filings Pursuant to the Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks to mandate electronic filing of trademark applications and all submissions associated with trademark applications and registrations, and to require the designation of an email address for receiving USPTO correspondence, with limited exceptions. This rule advances the USPTO's IT strategy to achieve complete end-to-end electronic processing of trademark-related submissions, thereby improving administrative efficiency by facilitating electronic file management, optimizing workflow processes, and reducing processing errors.
Setting and Adjusting Patent Fees During Fiscal Year 2020
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (Office or USPTO) proposes to set or adjust patent fees as authorized by the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (Act or AIA), as amended by the Study of Underrepresented Classes Chasing Engineering and Science Success Act of 2018 (SUCCESS Act). The USPTO is a business-like operation where the demand for patent products and services and the cost of our operations are affected by external factors, such as the economy, legislation, court decisions, and increases in the costs of supplies and contract services, as well as internal factors, such as changes in patent examination processes and procedures. The proposed fee adjustments are needed to provide the Office with a sufficient amount of aggregate revenue to recover the aggregate cost of patent operations in future years (based on current projections) and to allow the Office to continue progress towards achieving strategic goals.
Office Patent Trial Practice Guide, July 2019 Update
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (``Office'') issued a further update to the Office Patent Trial Practice Guide (``TPG'') in July 2019 to provide updated guidance to the public on standard practices before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (``Board'') in the post-grant trial procedures implemented following the Leahy- Smith America Invents Act (``AIA''). The Office published the TPG to provide practitioners with guidance on typical procedures and times for taking action in AIA trials, as well as to ensure consistency of procedure among panels of the Board.
Requirement of U.S. Licensed Attorney for Foreign Trademark Applicants and Registrants
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO or Office) amends the Rules of Practice in Trademark Cases, the Rules of Practice in Filings Pursuant to the Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks, and the rules regarding Representation of Others Before the United States Patent and Trademark Office to require applicants, registrants, or parties to a trademark proceeding whose domicile is not located within the United States (U.S.) or its territories (hereafter foreign applicants, registrants, or parties) to be represented by an attorney who is an active member in good standing of the bar of the highest court of a state in the U.S. (including the District of Columbia or any Commonwealth or territory of the U.S.). A requirement that such foreign applicants, registrants, or parties be represented by a qualified U.S. attorney will instill greater confidence in the public that U.S. trademark registrations that issue to foreign applicants are not subject to invalidation for reasons such as improper signatures and use claims and enable the USPTO to more effectively use available mechanisms to enforce foreign applicant compliance with statutory and regulatory requirements in trademark matters.