The following is an edited transcript of my video What is the Trademark Public Advisory Committee (TPAC)?
The Trademark Public Advisory Committee (TPAC) is a public committee commissioned by the USPTO that helps advise and give feedback on important issues. There are nine members in TPAC, who serve three-year terms on a rotating basis. The committee meets 3-4 times annually to get updates from the USPTO and give feedback on issues that relate to public interest in the world of trademarks.
I recommend that you check out some of these meetings because they review important matters such as: the latest filing statistics; hiring information at the USPTO; important trademark data and trends; how many filings are coming in from abroad vs. the US; and processing times. The meetings also cover current and upcoming policy issues and changes as well as legislative issues. If there are bills on Capitol Hill that relate to trademarks and intellectual property, they touch on the USPTO budgets, how much revenue and expenses they have, and the related forecasts. They also cover updates from the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB): what are its recent activities? What are the backlogs? How many cases have they decided recently?
A topic that I’m always watching closely is IT: what upgrades users can expect to the outdated online systems that we use so frequently and the challenges that the USPTO has dealt with in trying to upgrade and modernize those.
Visit the USPTO website for information on upcoming meeting dates by searching TPAC.