Technology drives innovation toward making systems faster and easier. In the past, trademark researching, submission, and approval processes have been just the opposite. Any seasoned trademark attorney will tell you that their specialization is highly technical, highly regulated, and entirely detail oriented.
So when the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) recently announced the roll-out of new online application submissions, many were stunned. The government must also see the universal advantages of saving expenses and file space, as well as going green.
This text-oriented opportunity enables the electronic filing of the traditional application documents. This means that the application preparation process for the applicant and their trademark attorney will be virtually the same, but printing and PDFs will be eliminated. As a result, in addition to conserving paper, printer ink, and significant file space, it should considerably accelerate the processing time.
Furthermore, this nullifies the prior need to create several documents and sub-documents for different purposes. The previous requirement mandated the separate development and filing of the abstract, claims detail, and specifications.
An updated method will make use of automated reporting to analyze, access, and extract the necessary information from the comprehensive application. The intent is to enhance not only the ease of filing, but increase the effectiveness of publishing and prosecution as well.
Rather than creating large and separate additional Adobe files, applications completed in standard word processing programs can be submitted in that raw form. An online tool will aid in the electronic filing, in order to validate the format, content, and document structure requirements in the application. The program contains help tools that aid the effective identification, search for legal terminology, and final submission. Word counts can even be inventoried and protected.
Applications may also be modified and updated after filing, which was impossible historically. A simple review or spot-check is an option remotely as well. Such adjustments will be tracked through word processing program mark-ups, equally enabling the author and USPTO representatives to quickly identify any pertinent change.
Additional mutual upsides include substantial financial savings. The USPTO can save labor and manpower by minimizing proofing and making corrections. They will subsequently pass these savings on to those intending to file.
Since this new series of procedures is just beginning to get underway, the USPTO will review user input during the initial stages of participation. Focus groups are currently providing feedback about each aspect of the process, in addition to all of the newly introduced tools in the platform.
While all of this evolves over the coming months, it would be wise to stay apprised of the progress. To remain current with the trademark filing procedures, and other related legal advances, subscribe to regular e-mail updates at www.trademarkaccess.com.