A public meeting of the Trademark Public Advisory Committee (TPAC) was held online on April 17, 2020. The agenda and list of speakers may be found hereHere are the presentation slides. A video of the meeting is available here (click on “TPAC public meeting video” in the left-hand column).

The presentation provides the usual data regarding filings, pendency dates, pending legislative initiatives, the USPTO budget, etc. Note that the August 2019 requirement that every foreign applicant be represented by a US attorney seems to have brought back to earth the number of filings emanating from China. [BTW, a foreign party to an inter partes proceeding must also have US counsel]. There is also a discussion of the USPTO’s campaign against phony specimens of use.

The estimable Carl Oppedahl, at his Ant-like Persistence blog, discusses [here] an issue that has caused concern for many trademark practitioners: the current requirement that trademark applicants provide their email addresses, which are publicly viewable. In February, in response to a protest led by Carl, the USPTO proceeded to mask the email address in the “status” tab of TSDR. But the email address continued to be open for data mining in the “documents” tab of TSDR. The applicant’s email address also remained available for data mining in other public-facing databases and public APIs (application programming interfaces).

Slide number 15 of the TPAC states that the USPTO “plan[s] to mask the owner email address field in TEAS and TEASi documents viewable in TSDR. This includes submissions viewable in the documents tab, all application programming interfaces (APIs), and PDF downloads.”

Carl comments: “[I]f the USPTO does actually fulfill this commitment about thoroughly masking the email address, it will reduce the harm caused by this collection of applicant email addresses.”

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Text Copyright John L. Welch 2020.