Trademark Law: TTAB to Hold External Stakeholder Forum

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Alexandria, Virgina – The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“TTAB”) will host an external stakeholder forum (please see below) on January 29, 2015, from 1 to 3 pm, to discuss issues related to its e-filing system or ESTTA (Electronic System for Trademark Trials and Appeals).

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) is in the process of redesigning its IT systems to take advantage of new technology that will allow end-to-end electronic processing of trademark matters. The new system, known as Trademark Next Generation (“TMNG”), will significantly increase the functionality and flexibility of the USPTO’s systems, including those used by TTAB, but the TTAB-related aspects of TMNG, particularly for trial cases, will deploy later than those related to examination and appeals. In the interim, TTAB is considering potential updates to ESTTA that it considers crucial to its stakeholders. The goal of the forum is to gain stakeholder input as to capabilities considered to be critical, both for the purpose of enhancing ESTTA functionality in the near term and to assist TTAB in planning for the aspects of TMNG that will impact TTAB.

Some areas that TTAB has identified for discussion are:Difficulties encountered with attachments to filings, both in terms of pre-filing review and resolution of images in the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board Inquiry System (“TTABVUE”) following submission.

• Expansion of list of grounds on the ESTTA cover page for purposes of initiating opposition and cancellation proceedings.

• Modification of the consent motion form to allow filers to control resetting of dates that have not yet lapsed.

• Implementation of a “saved” feature (similar to the one available in the Trademark Electronic Application System) that will allow more than one author to contribute to the filing before submission.

This is only a preliminary list of topics for discussion and the TTAB welcomes any additional suggestions or issues that its stakeholders wish to explore.

The forum will be open to anyone who wishes to attend in person and also will be available in webinar format. The TTAB asks that you register your intent to attend by sending an e-mail with your contact information to TTABRSVP@uspto.gov. Please indicate whether you intend to attend in person or via the web.

Webinar instructions are available here. Additional information is available on the TTAB’s webpage.

Estta Users External Stakeholder Forum

Contact Information