On 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. Some of the many proposed changes are significant.
The .pdf file of the notice may be accessed here.
Comments must be received by the USPTO by June 3, 2016, preferably submitted electronically to TTABFRNotices@uspto.gov.
Some of the more important changes include:
- Require that all filings in TTAB proceedings be made via ESTTA;
- Shift responsibility to the TTAB to serve notices of opposition and petitions for cancellation;
- Requirement that service of papers between parties be effected by email;
- Consequent deletion of the 5 extended response period for mailed documents;
- Limit document requests and admission requests to 75, each;
- Require all discovery be completed by the close of the discovery period; and
- Option to submit testimony by declaration or affidavit, subject to cross-examination.