Via an email from the USPTO [subscribe link]:
On or about April 1, 2011, Trademarks is planning to move Trademark Document Retrieval (TDR) 2.0 from a beta system to a full production system. As part of the Trademark Next Generation (TM NG) program, TDR 2.0 is the first USPTO application running partially in a cloud computing environment. Virtualization and cloud computing are now the industry standard in information technology solutions, and the USPTO wants to take advantage of this technology in our aim to provide full end-to-end electronic processing for Trademarks. It is our first step toward our Trademarks Next Generation goal of providing a system that is faster, more practical, much more feature-rich, and reliable for both the public and our staff.
Currently, everything a user downloads in TDR is first converted into a PDF. This is the most useful download format for the majority of users. TDR 2.0 still allows for PDF downloads, but it also allows a user to download documents in the original format, or source format that was originally uploaded in TEAS, or if something we generated, in our original format.
Some of our larger users, such as law firms and businesses, want to be able to directly access our data using their own software without using TDR at all. TDR does not support direct access to Trademark data because the links to our data are not reproducible or consistent. With TDR 2.0, direct access is supported.
Very soon, TDR 2.0 will support multimedia files making it possible for external users to gain access to multimedia content associated with Trademark data.
My API comment referring to the text in bold above (emphasis added).
I’d love for such data to be easily available to everyone, instead of just being available to the patent and trademark service providers (Unauthorized Practice of Law???) that (apparently) scrape the USPTO’s website daily. Alas.
I may have to start a fan club for Director David Kappos! Bravo!