Bi-Weekly Newsletter

September 15, 2017

Going Truly Paperless

Canadian Intellectual Property Office has weird correspondence rules.

Every document they issue, they send us by snail mail.

Plus, unlike USPTO, they don't make the file history documents available online.

Every week, we get pounds of paper mail from them.

The only document that would actually make sense for them to send as hardcopy would be the trademark registration certificate. But these they send out as PDFs, which has been my pet peeve for quite some time. I actually bought a color printer for one reason: to print out our clients' certificates so I could frame and mail them out. After all these long months, they deserve to get something tangible to celebrate over!

Going back to the regular correspondence, I've been scanning most of it from the early days of Trademark Factory—and our assistants would then get this all properly indexed and searchable. 

Problem is, I didn't start using assistants until a couple of years ago, some of them weren't as attentive to details, and I wasn't sure if I had scanned every piece of paper that I had in my cabinet drawers.

The thing I hated doing the most is filing each paper from the Trademarks Office into a client's folder—especially since we were doing this already digitally, so in addition to two full cabinet drawers, I had a huge stack of unsorted documents.

And recently, I had enough.

I decided to stop storing paper and go completely paperless.

I knew we had about 90% of everything scanned, OCR'd and stored. I just didn't know what constituted the 10%.

So I asked my daughter Masha to help me out. 

She had to plow through a huge pile of documents (check out the photo) and check what was scanned and what wasn't.

Believe it or not, I gave her the deadline to be done by the end of September because I was planning to write about this in this issue of my newsletter.

And now I can happily announce that we're no longer storing paper files in our office.

It's not a matter of saving the environment (they send paper anyway).

It's a matter of efficiency and certainty.

And I'm glad we finally did it.

Thank you, Masha!