Fellow Meet-the-Blogger Erik Pelton once again provides a report (here) on the latest meeting of the Trademark Public Advisory Committee (a/k/a TPAC).  The slides from the meeting are provided at the end of Erik’s blog post.

With regard to our favorite tribunal, a/k/a the TTAB, Chief Judge Gerard F. Rogers presented the following information, as summarized by Erik:

  • Hiring new judges (currently 22, started Fiscal Year with 24 but two retired).
  • The volume of all filings (ex parte appeal, oppositions, cancellations) has increased this Fiscal Year, with Oppositions up 5% and Petitions to Cancel up 7.5%.
  • However, the number of cases requiring a decision on the merits is down about 9% this year.
  • Total pendency in cases decided thus far this Fiscal Year is down.
  • TBMP revision was released.
  • Revising standard protective order – still planning on reviewing possibilities in the coming months.

Notably, after receiving public comments, the Board has withdrawn the proposal for a streamlined cancellation procedure for cases of abandonment or nonuse:

  • Pilot project underway to identify appropriate cases, and to possibly streamline procedures in those cases.
  • So far identified about 20 cases.
  • Some are proceeding via ACR mechanisms.
  • May propose rulemaking in the future after learning more from these pilot cases.

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