Trademark Trial and Appeal Board
The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) met its two primary pendency goals in FY 2003. The first goal was to issue final decisions on appeals and trial cases, on average, within ten weeks of the time they were ready for decision. At the end of FY 2003, the TTAB was issuing final decisions, on average, in less than nine weeks, down from 41.5 weeks as recently as March 1999. The second primary pendency goal was to continue to reduce the time it takes to issue decisions on contested trial motions once they are fully briefed. At the end of FY 2003, the TTAB was issuing decisions on contested motions, on average, in just over ten weeks, down from 19.2 weeks as recently as March 2001.
The TTAB has developed a suite of systems that allow almost complete electronic processing of cases before the Board. In FY 2003, the TTAB fully installed its electronic case processing system, in which new filings are either received electronically or scanned to create an electronic image, and files are routed within the Board automatically. TTAB also implemented its electronic filing system in FY 2003. That system provides forms for the electronic filing of requests for extensions of time to oppose, notices of opposition, and motions and other documents in interpartes cases, and will be expanded to cover other TTAB filings in FY 2004. Finally, the TTAB deployed its TTABVue system to the Trademark Public Search Room in FY 2003, anticipating deployment to the Internet in early FY 2004. TTABVue allows public access to the image records and prosecution history data for filings in proceedings filed since January 2003, and a significant percentage of those filed after June 2001.