Wednesday, December 27, 2006

USPTO Issues Annual Report for FY 2006

The USPTO has issued its "Performance and Accountability Report" for Fiscal Year 2006. (download here). Director John W. Dudas calls FY 2006 "a record-breaking year for the USPTO, in terms of quality, production, electronic filing, teleworking, electronic processing, and hiring." But what about the TTAB, specifically? Here's what the report has to say:

The TTAB fell just shy of meeting its pendency goal for FY 2006. The goal was to issue final decisions and decisions on trial motions, on average, within ten weeks of the time they were submitted for decision. During FY 2006, the TTAB issued decisions, on average, in 10.9 weeks, although, for the last half of the fiscal year, the TTAB was nearly at goal, issuing decisions, on average, in 10.3 weeks. In FY 2006, the TTAB added an additional option to its suite of electronic filing forms. Now, parties may file confidential documents using the TTAB's electronic filing system, with assurance that these documents will remain accessible only to the TTAB and not to the public at large. For FY 2006, 91 percent of extensions of time to oppose were received and processed electronically, as were 70 percent of notices of opposition and 68 percent of petitions to cancel. During FY 2006, the TTAB launched a pilot program to permit one of its administrative trademark judges to work full-time from an alternate duty station in Dallas, Texas. The TTAB held several electronic oral hearings in the electronic courtroom it shares with the BPAI. The electronic courtroom permits parties to appear before the TTAB and BPAI from remote videoconferencing locations. To provide more legal guidance to the trademark bar and trademark examining attorneys, in FY 2006 the TTAB issued 55 of its decisions as citable precedents, a substantial increase over the number of citable decisions issued in recent years.


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