Eric Pelton reports here on the February 15th meeting of the Trademark Public Advisory Committee (TPAC). PowerPoint slides included.

With regard to Our Favorite Tribunal, Chief Judge Gerard F. Rogers provided the following information:

  • The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board currently has 23 Administrative Judges (plus the Chief Judge and the Deputy Chief Judge) and 13.5 interlocutory attorneys. 
  • TTAB new case filings are up the first quarter of FY2016 over the numbers from prior year, and are expected to remain up throughout the fiscal year (Oct. - Sept.).
  • Notice of Proposed Rulemaking featuring a new Rules package is expected to be published in March. There are four main goals/elements:
    • Leverage the use of technology and electronic communications.
    • Remove plaintiff’s obligations to serve notice on the defendant.
    • Discovery changes, including encouraging earlier completion of discovery and moving the deadline for filing a motion for summary judgment to prior to the first date to serve pre-trial disclosures.
    • Add trial testimony efficiencies, for example allowing parties to submit testimony by affidavit (instead of deposition) but subject to possible cross-examination.
  • The Board will be doing outreach this spring regarding the new rules.