PTO pilots aim to ease application and filing procedures

The Patent and Trademark Office today launched a prototype system for processing patent applications electronically. The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board also unveiled a system for filing documents in trademark disputes.

The Patent and Trademark Office today launched a prototype system for processing patent applications electronically. The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board also unveiled a system for filing documents in trademark disputes. The new services advance PTO’s plan to automate its systems (see story at ). The prototype patent system will handle initial administration for pending applications for biotechnology and semiconductor inventions. PTO workers will scan paper applications into image files for study by examiners.James E. Rogan, undersecretary of the Commerce Department for intellectual property, said in a statement that the prototype “is a major component of the agency’s 21st century strategic plan to efficiently deliver high-quality products through electronic patent processing by the end of 2004.”PTO is using core software developed by the European Patent Office as the basis for the prototype.The trial and appeal board’s Electronic System for Trademark Trials and Appeals will accept filings of nonfee materials by e-mail and send back receipts. It will also rule electronically on requests for time extensions.

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