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The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) published “Changes to the Trademark Rules of Practice to Mandate Electronic Filing” on July 31, 2019.  This new rule, mandating “complete end-to-end” electronic filing in all trademark matters, goes into effect on October 5 of this year.

According to the new rule, trademark applicants and registrants are required to:

  • File their trademark applications and documents online using the USPTO’s Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS)
  • Provide and maintain an accurate email address for themselves, as well as for any appointed practitioner, for the purpose of receiving correspondence from the USPTO
  • Provide and maintain a valid postal address in the event that the USPTO is unable to reach them through email

This rule advances the USPTO’s IT strategy to achieve complete end-to-end electronic processing of trademark-related submissions.  By mandating electronic filing of trademark applications and submissions through TEAS, the amended rules will reduce paper processing to an absolute minimum and maximize end-to-end electronic processing.

Other changes to the new rule include:

  • Paper and fax submission will no longer be accepted. (Email submissions will continue to not be accepted, however, email will be used by the USPTO for communication regarding your application or registration.)
  • The TEAS RF (Reduced Fee) application form will become the default form to be completed with a new application, and will be renamed “TEAS Standard.”

The goal is to improve administrative efficiency by facilitating electronic file management, optimizing workflow processes, and reducing manual errors.

Electronic submissions through TEAS do not require manual processing and are automatically categorized, labeled, and uploaded directly into an electronic file in the USPTO electronic records system for review by USPTO employees and the public.  TEAS submissions help ensure more complete filings, expedite processing, shorten pendency, minimize manual data entry and potential data entry errors, and eliminate the potential for lost or missing papers.

Paper submissions experience less accuracy and more cost due to manual processing.  By using the TEAS, submissions are processed faster, data entry errors decrease and the risk of lost or missing papers is eliminated.  All of the efficiencies gained through electronic filing benefit trademark customers.

To read the published rule click on the link https://tinyurl.com/y4pq8gwm.

For more information on this topic please call the attorneys at Ference & Associates at 412-741-8400 or email us here.