Patent Office Expands Use of USPS Online System

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officials said Nov. 22 that they expanded their use of a Web-based bulk mailing system offered by the U.S. Postal Service.

The online Trademark Postal System, which patent officials call TPostal, is based on the USPS' NetPost Services. It lets the agency print, stamp and mail postcard notices to trademark filers.

The agency expanded its use of TPostal to 13 different notices of official trademark actions and deadlines, including notice of approval of an extension request, notice of acceptance and acknowledgment and notice of revival.

In a typical week, TPostal processes notices on 6,900 postcards. The electronic system saves the patent office at least $64,000 annually in postage.

The Web-based system creates electronic postcards that are transferred to local post offices within 24 hours. At the local post offices, postcards are printed, stamped and mailed locally to reduce delivery times and expenses.

Using postcards rather than windowed letters saves time and reduces labor, materials and postage costs, producing savings for the patent office, officials said.

TPostal has been used since 2002 to notify trademark applicants or owners of abandonment of an application, publication of a mark for opposition or extension of time to oppose a mark.

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