The “self-driving” Docket
USPTO autonomous trademark status updates
For many years USPTO Trademark Examiners have been using a tracking system as they handle applications and maintenance. It’s based on a series of codes and descriptions for each step in the life cycle of an application, from “630: Initialized, not assigned to Examiner” to “900: Not renewed”. There are about 140 different codes, covering all eventualities and milestones, such as issuance of Office Actions, publication, acceptance, registration and maintenance.
Most legacy docketing systems do not use these codes, but depend on the user to periodically enter new data or update the status of the trademark record for each case.
In recent years the USPTO has made available a number of APIs and links to the data in TESS, TSDR and the TTAB, and some recently designed systems take advantage of the data on offer from the USPTO.
TM Cloud provides numerous links and downloads:
The USPTO recently introduced two free systems which provide daily updates of status changes; the Trademark Application Docket and a mobile app for IOS and Andriod, which gives you the changes on your phone.
Two other free services offering daily updates are Feathers and sofTMware, both of which have been operating for some time, and there may be others.
Daily status updates are of course very useful, and provide a necessary safety net for any docket. But there is a downside: none of the free services are integrated with your actual docketing system, and it can be labor intensive to review the incoming emails or lists and then cross check or transfer the information manually into your docket system.
We have addressed this problem at TM Cloud, and now provide an autonomous daily update system fully integrated into the TM Cloud trademark record and into the Docket. Run a search for the marks you wish to track, perhaps all your pending US applications, and push a button. All your selected application records are automatically updated with the current detailed USPTO status. From then on you get a daily list of the status changes on the Dashboard. Critical data, deadlines and reminders are entered automatically into your docket. Get a confirmation email if you want one, and check the updates on your phone if you are on the move.
One caveat: and this may be obvious, but you still have to pay attention to your docket. The magic wand of the autonomous docket updates does not answer the Office Actions, check the publication details in the OG, deal with the Statement of Use, and keep your client up to date.Perhaps one day it will.