The Consistency Initiative Pilot Program, announced in 2008, has delivered more consistent examination standards for those applying for trademarks and patents through The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
Due to the success of the pilot program, The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) recently announced a permanent Consistency Initiative. This should make the process of obtaining and protecting a patent more reliable.
USPTO Program Changes
The Consistency Initiative ensures that applicants can communicate with the USPTO throughout the trademarking and patenting process. This program specifically allows applicants to report inconsistencies and concerns.
For example, some applicants with more than one trademark registration pending may notice each application has been treated differently by the USPTO. The Consistency Initiative allows such people to report the inconsistencies between applications, as long as the first registration was given within the past five years.
USPTO Consistency Initiative Benefits
The new program gives applicants contact information in case of any issues. This is important because inconsistencies can be unfair and confusing for applicants.
Conversely, the USPTO can catch and fix more issues as the applicants report them. In this way, the Consistency Initiative may benefit everyone involved.
USPTO Consistency Initiative Requirements
The USPTO has warned that applicants who notice problems with pending applications should first notify their examining attorney. If this does not solve the issue, they can turn to the Consistency Initiative by submitting a review request.
A review request must include a quick description of the inconsistencies and a listing of the applications involved. You must also include a line at the top of the page that briefly states whether the complaint focuses on identification or procedure issues within the trademark process.
If you are interested in using this program to report inconsistencies in the trademark process, you can email your request for review to the USPTO.
Applicants requesting review do not need to attach supporting evidence. The USPTO staff will review the existing application(s) and make any changes within six weeks. Applicants are advised to monitor their applications once they submit their review request.
Once you’ve finished filing your patent in the US, you can start to consider patent translation.
If you have an issue with the way your patent or trademark is being dealt with by the USPTO, contact LLS to speak with one of our staff attorney about the process – the permanent Consistency Initiative program may enable you to request that the USPTO reconsider your application.