Thursday, December 08, 2011

New PTO "TSDR " System Will Put "Feathers" Database Program in Jeopardy

The many avid users of the "Feathers" trademark database program, the brainchild of Carl Oppedahl, have been rocked by the USPTO's announcement (here) that on or about December 16th it will introduce a new system, Trademark Status and Document Retrieval (TSDR 1.0), that will "redefine the way Trademark status data and all documents will be displayed to the public." The PTO notes that "at a currently undetermined point, both TARR and TDR will disappear. Until then, the links for both TARR and TDR will take the user to an 'interim' page, from which either the existing system can be reached or the new TSDR 1.0 can be accessed."

One can only hope that Carl Oppedahl will come up with a prompt fix for "Feathers." Or maybe the USPTO could delay implementation of the new system until "Feathers" is made compatible? Craig Morris, please pick up the white courtesy phone!


At 3:06 PM, Anonymous Carl Oppedahl said...

I have encouraging news.

There are quite a few USPTO people subscribed to these listservs, especially to the E-trademarks-L listserv. This means that when a question comes up in one of these listservs that involves the USPTO, very often people within the USPTO will see the question and will reach out in one way or another.

A nice Trademark Office person (I bet you can guess who) reached out to me earlier today about this Feathers/TSDR question. Here are some bits of news.

It seems that USPTO will likely preserve the function of the "deep" URLs that Feathers uses (for example ) for some time after the release of TSDR. As such, probably Feathers will keep working for some time after the release of TSDR.

As we have read, TSDR will have an API (programming interface) that is intended to help programmers gain access to the database. This is actually a very customer-friendly thing for USPTO to do. By comparison, on the patent side, the USPTO people in charge of PAIR have been very stubborn in resisting and refusing customer requests for an API for access to patent data.

Anyway the news is that USPTO plans to publish the documentation for the TSDR API at about the same time as the release of TSDR (around December 16). That is when we will need to see what sort of work will be required to get Feathers working through the API. Until we see the API, we won't know for sure how things are. It might be an incredible amount of work or it might not be too bad.

Feathers operates with what we call a "rules" file (you can see it at ). The rules file defines where we search, and what we search for, in the HTML so as to find the various important items of data. Maybe it will turn out that we will only need to revise the "rules" file. That would be good luck.


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