Thursday, May 24, 2007

Inventors Congress

The 50th Annual Minnesota Inventors Congress (MIC) will be held in Redwood Falls, Minnesota, June 9-11, 2007. Speaking about how to avoid being scammed by fraudulent invention promotion firms will be Anthony Knight, a Supervisory Patent Examiner from the USPTO. Other topics include the inventing process, preliminary patent searching, market assessment, and licensing versus manufacturing. Access the MIC website for more information and/or to register.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Fraudulent Invention Promotion

The Federal Trade Commission has filed a civil contempt action against four individuals and eight business entities for alleged fraudulent business practices involving invention promotion. According to an FTC press release, "the Commission initiated contempt proceedings against (Julian) Gumpel and eight corporate entities under his control: Technical Lithographers Inc., d/b/a Patent and Trademark Institute of America (PTI), United Licensing Corporation, International Patent Advisors Inc., Datatech Consulting Inc., International Product Marketing Inc., Unicorp Consulting Inc., d/b/a/ UNI Corp. Inc, Azure Communications Inc., and London Communications Inc."

The FTC has established a phone line (202-326-2926) for consumers who have complaints against the Patent and Trademark Institute of America (PTI) for promising to help consumers objectively evaluate and/or license their inventions and earn royalties, none of which allegedly occurred.

Small Business Seminar June 13, 2007

The USPTO, the United States Chamber of Commerce, and the state of North Carolina are hosting a free conference on counterfeiting and piracy from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 13 at the McKinnon Center on the campus of North Carolina State University in Raleigh. Topics to be covered include how to work with law enforcement officials to safeguard intellectual property, how to protect the supply chain here and abroad, how to protect brands using state and government resources, and what the USPTO and Chamber of Commerce are doing to defend American business. Register at (shortened URL that goes to the USPTO site) using REGISTRATION CODE:June 13.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Peterlin Appointed USPTO Deputy Director

Margaret J.A. Peterlin has been named Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Deputy Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). According to Jon Dudas, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO, "Margaret's leadership will be instrumental in the USPTO's efforts to work with applicants to enhance the quality of their applications, process patents and trademarks in a timely manner, and operate in a way that motivates our employees and inspires our international partners.”

Ms. Peterlin earned a law degree from the University of Chicago, clerked on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals for Judge Jerry E. Smith, acted as General Counsel to Richard Armey, Majority Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives, and served as Counsel for Legal Policy and National Security Advisor for House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Obviousness Test for Patents

In KSR Int'l Co. v. Teleflex Inc. the Supreme Court has invalidated the old interpretation of the "obviousness" test for granting patents. The new interpretation of the obviousness test should make it easier to deny or invalidate patents.