The 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 are critical from our perspective and from that of our 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 us in planning for the aspects of TMNG that will impact TTAB.
Some areas that we have identified for discussion are:
- Difficulties encountered with attachments to filings, both in terms of pre-filing review and resolution of images in 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 TEAS) 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 we welcome any additional suggestions or issues that our 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. We ask only 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. Additional information will be forthcoming regarding the agenda and how to join the discussion via the web, in January.
We encourage any external stakeholder who works with ESTTA to participate. Your input will be invaluable to TTAB as we prepare for TMNG and as we enhance our current e-filing system to meet the needs of our stakeholders.