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PTO Shortens Time of First OA

On Thursday, June 4, 2009 the USPTO reduced its goal for “trademark pendency” to two months.  “TM Pendency” determines how large of an inventory of unprocessed applications the USPTO should keep at any given time.  The time frame discussed in relation to pendency is the time that it takes the PTO to issue a First Office Action (“OA”) from the application filing date.

The PTO TM Public Advisory Committee (“TPAC”) stated that the previous goal had been 2.5-3.5 months (for issuance of the initial OA).  However, as a practicing trademark attorney, I’d say that OAs most commonly issue 3-4 months after the filing date.

I presume that most clients will be pleased with a shortened examination period, as most clients want their applications to issue as quickly as possible.  The clients who will be negatively impacted by hastened examination are Intent to Use clients who sometimes have trouble bringing their products and services to fruition as quickly as they initially hoped.

It will be interesting to see if the PTO meets its new goals and if so, how this effects the speed of the registration process overall.

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