Wednesday, December 29, 2010

INTA's TM Topics Email List: If It Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It

My friend Lara Pearson, who recently started her own blog called Brand Geek, sent out an email on Monday concerning INTA's plan to move the popular and informative TM Topics list serv to a private platform. Seems like a bad idea to me. Lara explains below. What do you think?

As you know, INTA has decided to move TM Topics from a public to private platform on January 6, 2011. One practical effect of this is that after 01/06/2011 TM Topics will be open to INTA members only. ***

When I (and apparently others) raised this issue to Ralf, he suggested that [non-members] use the INTA LinkedIn Group in lieu of TM Topics. The problem is that the LinkedIn Group isn't comparable to TM Topics. The LinkedIn Group has 5000 members (more than the number of INTA members, I believe), while in contrast, there is great value in the intimacy and level of experience of the members of the TM Topics list. Further, posts on LinkedIn are limited to 200 characters. My signature block alone is 83 Characters! 200 characters is hardly enough space to express a fact pattern. I also know many PTO employees "lurk" on the list but are not allowed to post. They too no longer will be able to participate after January 6, 2011.

Lara suggests that, if you share her concern, you should contact Ralf or Jessica at INTA.


At 9:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As one of those lurking examiners, this change would be disappointing. Have read about many notable topics of interest on the email list and have passed on several comments to the relevant parties concerning technical issues that list members have brought up.

At 1:20 PM, Blogger Kevin W. Grierson said...

I'm with Lara. Apart from the loss of USPTO lurkers (an extremely valuable resource) and other INTA non-members, lists that require you to log in online to post or reply simply don't invite the same kind of interaction.

At 1:33 PM, Blogger Owen said...

The post from Anonymous highlights why this is a boneheaded move by INTA. Here is the comment I emailed to INTA yesterday- I hope many more chime in.


I agree with Lara's sentiments. I will miss the TM Topics list. I’ve long used the list, even when I was not with a member company/firm. It is very important that we can have non-INTA members, such as students, USPTO officials, and potential INTA members on the list. I know a number of times that gripes about the USPTO on TM Topics (such as outages or problems with new online forms) have led to quick action through the USPTO lurkers on the list. It is unfortunate that we will lose those participants.

At 10:11 PM, Blogger Lara Pearson said...

Thanks, John! I appreciate your props on my new blog :) and your bringing more attention to the TM Topics move issue.

Most folks respond to me while cc'ing Jessica, Ralf and the list. It's really disappointing that INTA won't allow this discussion to happen publicly on the list.

If the appx. 50 Listmates I bcc'd on my initial e-mail, I have heard from about 20 people, all but one of whom support keeping the list as is. The question is, does INTA care?

At 10:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agreed, this is a bone-headed idea. How does this possibly help INTA's membership?

At 8:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps AIPLA will start a public TM discussion list?

I think AIPLA is looking to expand its TM resources for its members.

Further, it would be healthy for other trade associations to experience the kind of input INTA has had with the TM Office via the list.

Very generous of INTA to give that up.


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