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Revised TTAB rules coming soon
July 27, 2007

The TTABlog reports that the revised TTAB rules initially proposed in a notice of proposed rulemaking on January 17, 2006 are likely to be published in the Federal Register in the next week. The summary of the rules as initially proposed is as follows:

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (Office) proposes to amend its rules to require plaintiffs in Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (Board) inter partes proceedings to serve on defendants their complaints or claims; to utilize in Board inter partes proceedings a modified form of the disclosure practices included in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure; and to delete the option of making submissions to the Board in CD–ROM form. In addition, certain amendments clarify rules, conform the rules to current practice, and correct typographical errors or deviations from standard terminology.

If the rules as implemented are the same as those proposed, parties to TTAB proceedings will notice several major differences, including:

  • An initial disclosure requirement
  • Reduction in the number of interrogatories from 75 to 25
  • The standard TTAB protective order entered in every case by default
  • Specific timing for disclosure of expert witnesses and reports

Representatives from the AIPLA, ABA IP section, IPO, and INTA met with the USPTO regarding the proposed rules last July, listing some of the concerns raised by the rules, so the substance of the rules may have changed since initially published for comment back in January. We'll be watching and post a link to the revised rules when they are available.

To read the full text of the initially-proposed rules, click here.

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