Among the controversial objectives, we can mention the outsourcing of patent searches to other sectors of society, such as universities, which is very different from using search results provided by foreign patent offices… For trademarks, the controversy relies on the evaluation of the possibility of eliminating the official search during the technical examination, so that only absolute prohibitions are examined ex officio and relative prohibitions (previous registered trademarks) are considered only upon opposition from third parties.
Good news is that the PTO intends to reduce the patent examination backlog from the current 6.9 years (counted from the filing date) to 6.5 years later this year and reaching very agressive 2 years in 2026. For trademarks, the objective is, for applications without opposition, to go from the current 10 months (counting from the filing) to 1 month until 2026 and, for applications with opposition, from the current 16 months (counting from the publication of the application – after 1st examination) to 7 months in 2026.
Also on the trademark side, the TMO intends to accept new modalities of non-traditional marks, such as sound and smell marks.
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