US trademark applications that lack an Examining Attorney

(July 11, 2022.  Updated to provide a TSDR link for each application number.  Still none of the applications has been given to an Examining Attorney.)

The USPTO reports a pendency of around six to seven months for newly filed US trademark applications.  But there are quite a few trademark applications that were filed a lot longer ago than that, that still do not have an Examining Attorney.  Here are some examples:

Application
Number
Filing date
88704832 November 25, 2019
88729476 December 17, 2019
88729463 December 17, 2019
88729452 December 17, 2019
88729389 December 16, 2019
88794834 February 12, 2020

As you will see, the oldest one on this list was filed more than 2½ years ago and still does not have an Examining Attorney.   I hope and trust that some reader of this blog article who works in the Trademark Office will pass along these six application numbers to whoever it is that is responsible for assigning Examining Attorneys to trademark applications.

It strikes me that this is the sort of thing that computers are supposed to be good at.  How can it possibly be that the Trademark Office does not already have some automated process that runs, say, once a month, and generates a report like this?  Such a report would permit the appropriate Trademark Office person to take corrective action (see 37 C.F.R. § 2.23(d) and TMEP § 108.03) by assigning an Examining Attorney.

5 Replies to “US trademark applications that lack an Examining Attorney”

  1. I had an application filed in April of 2021 that just got assigned to an examiner a couple of weeks ago. Two other applications filed at the same time have been registered for a number of months already.

  2. Thank you, Carl, for this posting. As a former TC1600 Quality Assurance Specialist, I am more familiar with the patent side of things, where the USPTO has already gone far beyond running a monthly docketing report to creating an automatic process for docketing patent applications. One would hope this type of technological improvement would eliminate the sort of docketing delays you have exposed here in trademark applications.

    Sadly it ain’t so.

    Jack Abid included a patent pendency chart in his June 29, 2022 IPWatchdog post. https://www.ipwatchdog.com/2022/06/29/uspto-expedited-processes-examination-new-petition-make-special-climate-change-inventions/id=149871/

    Here are comments based on ones I submitted in response to Jack’s post.

    Perhaps the increasing patent pendency phenomenon (from 16 months in Feb 2021 to >19 months in April 2022) can be attributed in part to the USPTO’s creation of an “employee” initially and aptly named Holding Docket, now renamed Central Docket, which now holds >250,000 patents applications (both new and mid-prosecution).

    Beginning around 2019, patent examiners were placed on short dockets- each examiner being fed only a few weeks’ worth of work at a time. The remainder of their docket – new cases and amended cases – are assigned to Central Docket. If examiners complete their short docket of cases within proscribed time periods set forth in the PAP, they meet the agency’s pendency and docket management goals.

    To be clear: the creation of the short dockets makes it appear that the USPTO is better meeting their pendency and docket management goals. Jack’s chart suggest otherwise.

    Much of the pendency bottleneck seen since 2019 seemed to have quietly moved upstream into the Circus called Central Docket.

    Let’s take a look under the Big Tent. Consider 15/922,266, filed March 2018 and ready for examination since April 2018. This poor thing can’t get off the carousel ride.

    PAIR transaction history shows this application assigned to “an Examiner in GAU” on 4/2018, 6/2019, 9/2020, 10/2020, 7/2021, 10/2021 (thrice) 12/2021, 2/2022, and 3/2022 (four times). “Examiner” Central Docket repeatedly assigns the case to his or herself. Examiner Central Docket then doe not examine the case. These misleading docket transactions make it appear that the application is always freshly docketed to an examiner in an art unit, when in fact, it is not. Once this application lands on a real examiner’s desk and is examined within the 3-4 week time period prescribed by the PAP, that examiner and the agency will have met their pendency and docket management goals.

    Other examples (identified several weeks ago) of new patent cases stuck on Central Docket’s Ferris Wheel include 15/764,458 (assigned to Examiner Central Docket >6 times since 2/2019) and 15/741,565 (assigned to Examiner Central docket >5 times since 9/2018.)

    One wonders what criteria is being used by Employee Central Docket to select some cases to be promptly docketed to a real art unit for examination while other cases are trapped on the merry-go-round.

    Finally, Examiner Central Docket, identified as an employee in Employee Locator, is falsely given the title and the functions of Supervisory Patent Examiner (SPE), a practice exposed here: https://WWW.THEEPOCHTIMES.COM/US-PATENT-OFFICE-IMPROPERLY-ASSIGNED-SUPERVISORY-STATUS-TO-CONTRACTORS-FOR-YEARS_4267996.HTML?UTM_SOURCE=AI&UTM_MEDIUM=SEARCH

  3. My guess is that the USPTO suspects that these six applications are fraudulent and will never assign them to an examining attorney.

    Ser. No. 88794834 was filed identifying Holly Mariella, an attorney with the California AG’s officer. The USPTO has issued show-cause orders for other applications identifying her as the attorney of record. It has not done so here. The applicant is a Nevada corporation, which is not required to have U.S. counsel. With that said, the USPTO should take action to bring this matter to a close.

    Ser. No. 88704832 was filed in the name of another California attorney, Alan David Irwin . The attorney email address was suspicious. It appears the applicant realized this and changed the attorney to Yan Gao of Ipspeedy Consulting Co., LLC of Pearland, Texas, in effort to cure the defect.

    The other four cases, Ser. Nos. 88729476, 88729463, 88729452, and 88729389, are subject to a show-cause order issued by the USPTO on 20 Feb. 2020. Like Ser. No. 88704832, these applications also identified Alan David Irwin as the attorney of record and then redesignated Yan Gao as the attorney of record. Mr. Irwin filed an affidavit averring that he is not the attorney of record. The applicant must show cause as to why the initial applications should not be invalidated for not designating a U.S. attorney, for filing a false, fictitious, or fraudulent document, for not filing a document not personally signed, and for filing a document that falsely identifies a U.S. attorney.

    The USPTO should issue show-cause orders for the other two applications on the same grounds. To be fair, though, the USPTO has issued numerous such orders in 2020, most of which are still outstanding. So, it appears that it just can’t keep up with the pace. But I would think a search for other cases that identified Mr. Irwin and others who have been falsely identified as attorney of record be in order.

  4. Carl, I was not often in the trademark area, but hat’s off to you for pointing out this type of thing.

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