On Monday, April 4th, the USPTO published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking entitled “Miscellaneous Changes to Trademark Trial and Appeal Board Rules of Practice,” Federal Register, Volume 81, No. 64, pp. 19296-19324 [pdf here]. The proposed changes are many and significant. Comments must be received by the USPTO by June 3, 2016, preferably submitted electronically to TTABFRNotices at uspto.gov, or submit comments at the Federal Register website, here.
Among the proposed rule changes are the following (for a more elegant and comprehensive summary, go here):
- A requirement that all filings in TTAB proceedings be made via ESTTA.
- A shift of responsibility to the TTAB to serve notices of opposition and petitions for cancellation.
- A requirement that service of papers between parties be effected by email.
- Consequent deletion of the 5-days-for-mailing extended response period.
- Limitation of document requests and admission requests to 75 each.
- Requirement that all discovery be completed by the close of the discovery period.
- Option to submit testimony by declaration or affidavit, subject to cross-examination.
This summary touches only some of the high points, and readers will want to read the entire 29 page document.