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The Patent and Trademark Office announced Jan. 12 websites that will allow stakeholders to comment on how the agency can update and improve the Manual of Patent Examining Procedure (MPEP) and Trademark Manual of Examining Procedure (TMEP).
“The objective is to ensure that the MPEP and TMEP are as accurate, complete and current as possible and enable practitioners and examiners to find information easily and, get accurate and complete guidance,” PTO Director David J. Kappos said in a press statement. A statement on the new MPEP-related website says that the goal is to “ensure that all patent applications comply with the laws and regulations governing the patent system.”
The websites allow users to add ideas or suggest modifications to the manuals, as well as to comment and vote on the ideas proposed by others in the intellectual property community. Users must register on the site to contribute ideas, comments, and votes.
The PTO is currently limiting the topics to selected chapters from each of the MPEP and TMEP. Current MPEP chapters open for discussion are Chapter 500 on “Receipt and Handling of Mail and Papers” and Chapter 600 on “Parts, Form, and Content of Application.” The TMEP-related website allows discussion on Section 904.03, “Material Appropriate as Specimens for Trademarks” and Chapter 1200, “Substantive Examination of Applications.”
The agency plans to post additional chapters in the coming months.
Editorial staff responsible for the patent website will in some cases respond to posted ideas and comments and will also periodically post proposed new material and solicit stakeholder responses. Trademark website operators “may also post for comment proposed revisions prior to their incorporation in the TMEP,” according to a statement on new TMEP-related website.
Users can also provide feedback on the discussion tools themselves and on the format of the two manuals.
The websites are available immediately, and ideas have already been posted for comment on both websites.
By Tony Dutra
MPEP section feedback at http://uspto-mpep.ideascale.com/
TMEP section feedback at http://uspto-tmep.ideascale.com/
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