Guest blog by Commissioner for Trademarks Mary Denison
As we work to strengthen security and enhance the trademarks filing experience, we continue to listen to your ideas and feedback. Among these efforts is an upcoming enhancement you should prepare for now. Beginning October 26, 2019, you'll need to log in with two-factor authentication to your USPTO.gov account to access TEAS or TEASi forms. If you haven’t yet created your account, set up your USPTO.gov account today.
Filing features through MyUSPTO
By logging in to MyUSPTO for your trademark filings, you have a personalized homepage for managing your trademarks portfolios using widgets to meet your needs. MyUSPTO provides the Trademark Application Docket and Trademark Post-Registration Docket, which allow trademark owners or practitioners to create an unlimited number of trademark portfolios (or “collections”) of up to 1,000 trademarks per collection. You can also set up notifications of changes to your applications or registrations, such as to the owner address, attorney address, or voluntary amendments.
The trademarks widgets on MyUSPTO also include the Trademarks Form Finder, which allows users to quickly search for a trademark form by name or locate it by action or response needed. You can stay current with the Trademark Official Gazette Watch by saving search queries as well.
There are also two MyUSPTO widgets for making sure you have access to the resources and latest trademarks news. The Trademark Alerts widget provides a list of recent emails from the USPTO relevant to trademark customers. Using the Favorites widget, you can bookmark USPTO webpages and systems. This means the pages you need most often are there regardless of the device or browser you use to log in.
Preventing fraud with two-factor authentication
We need to improve the security of your information by preventing fraudulent attempts to alter your information or file documents. Adding two-factor authentication to the login process will admittedly add another step to your workflow by requiring a unique six-digit code, but it is necessary. Two-factor authentication significantly reduces the chance these malicious attempts to impersonate you will succeed because knowing your password alone is not enough to pass the authentication check.
Other USPTO applications have already implemented this technology in the customer workflow. Through those efforts, we heard your feedback that the authentication code takes too long to arrive, so we’re reducing your wait time by improving the underlying email infrastructure and changing the email service we currently use. Further, the authentication code can be provided via two alternate methods — either a voice call or an authentication app. Beginning October 26, you will also have the option to receive the authentication code via text message.
Improving security with shorter timeout on TEAS and TEASi forms
You will encounter another change when you use the TEAS and TEASi forms. To comply with NIST Special Publication 800-63B (June 2017) and the statutory requirements under the Federal Information Security Modernization Act (FISMA) of 2014, 44 U.S.C. § 3551 et seq. Public Law (P.L.) 113-283, “… [r]eauthentication of the subscriber SHALL be repeated following any period of inactivity lasting 30 minutes or longer.” After 30 minutes of inactivity, “[t]he session SHALL be terminated (i.e., logged out)…” As a result, your TEAS and TEASi sessions will timeout after 30 minutes of inactivity on a form, a reduction from the current 60-minute period.
We recognize this likely affects some of your filing processes, such as when selecting a lengthy identification of goods and services or writing an argument in response to a substantive refusal. This is necessary to improve the security of your information and to prevent fraudulent attempts to impersonate you in a trademark filing.
To help you manage your work with the reduced timeout, you'll receive a pop-up warning after 25 minutes of inactivity on a form. When you see this, select the “Yes, keep me signed in” button to reset your activity for another 30 minutes. Activity on a TEAS form that will extend your session includes uploading or attaching files and using the buttons on the forms, such as “Go Back,” “Continue,” and “Validate.” For sections of forms that take you longer than 30 minutes to complete, we also recommend gathering information and writing responses prior to logging in to a TEAS or TEASi form.
Increasing system availability and responsiveness
Since customers first started using USPTO.gov accounts to log in to USPTO systems, we as an agency have heard loud and clear the need to improve both system availability and performance. System availability is improving as a result of recent work to upgrade and stabilize our external applications’ infrastructure, and performance will continue to improve based on the addition of high-availability capacity and increased automated system monitoring.
Please continue to share your feedback with us so we can integrate it into our development process and improve your experience.
Prepare for the login requirement
Along with creating your USPTO.gov account before October 26, 2019, we also recommend that you bookmark the log in to TEAS and TEASi page. From here, you can access the resources and contact information for technical assistance. This is also where you can watch the How to prepare for the new TEAS login requirement recorded webinar.