Monday, January 12, 2009

USPTO Issues Annual Report for Fiscal 2008

On November 17, 2008, the USPTO issued its Performance and Accountability Report for Fiscal Year 2008 (downloadable here). The Report states that "For the third year in a row, Trademarks has met and exceeded all of its agency performance goals." (p. 5)

The accompanying press release provides the following summary of the Trademark operation:
  • Trademarks ended its year with first action pendency at three months. Trademarks has maintained its first action pendency within the 2.5 to 3.5 month range for more than 18 months, a historic first. Disposal pendency was also maintained at record low levels, ending the year with 11.8 months pendency for cases without inter partes or suspended cases and at 13.9 months for all disposals. This disposal pendency is the lowest in 20 years.

  • This year saw a record number of applications filed electronically--approximately 268,000 applications comprising 390,000 classes. This represented a record rate of filing; 96.9 percent of all applications were filed electronically.

  • Quality remained high throughout the year with a first action compliance rate of 95.8 percent and a final action compliance rate of 97.2 percent. Both measures exceeded performance expectations.

In a section entitled "Fiscal Year 2008 USPTO Workload Tables" (beginning at page 114), the Report provides a raft of data regarding the PTO's operations, including:

  • Summary of Trademark Examining Activities (p.129)
  • Trademark Applications Filed for Registration and Renewal and Trademark Affidavits Filed (p. 130)
  • Summary of Pending Trademark Applications (p. 131)
  • Trademarks Registered, Renewed, and Published Under Section 12(c) (p. 132)
  • Trademark Applications Filed by Residents of the United States (p. 133)
  • Trademarks Registered to Residents of the United States (p. 134)
  • Trademark Applications Filed by Residents of Foreign Countries (p. 135)
  • Trademarks Registered to Residents of Foreign Countries (p. 137)
  • Summary of Contested Trademark Cases (p. 139)
  • Actions on Petitions to the Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks (p. 140)
  • Cases in Litigation (p. 141)
  • Top 50 Tradmark Applicants (p. 144)
  • Top 50 Trademark Registrants (p. 144)

With regard to our favorite tribunal, the Report states:

"As in past years, the USPTO was heavily involved in shaping IP law and policy through precedential decisions issued by the Agency's Boards and through domestic litigation. The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) issued more than 50 decisions affecting Agency practice and substantive law of trademark registration." (pp. 26-27)

The Board disposed of about 12,000 cases in FY 2008 (795 at final hearing) and received about the same number of new filings. (See Table 23 at page 139).

Text Copyright John L. Welch 2009.


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