Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Collegiate Inventors Competition

The 2007 Collegiate Inventors Competition Awards will be presented at the California Institute of Technology on November 1, 2007. Joining the U.S. undergraduate and graduate student finalists this year is a team from Canada. The competition is sponsored by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)and the Abbott Fund. Entries are judged on originality and usefulness to society. For more information about the contest, past winners, and future contests visit www.invent.org/collegiate.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Trademark Tribal Insignia Database

According to an announcement in the Oct. 12, 2007 Federal Register, the USPTO has created a database containing the official insignia of all federally- and state-recognized Native American tribes. Tribes can voluntarily submit insignias to this database. The database serves as a reference to help determine the "the registrability of a mark that may be similar to the official insignia of a Native American tribe." An FAQs page is available with further information including how to search for tribal insignias in the larger USPTO Trademark Database.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Obvious or Not?

"Is an invention obvious to a person with ordinary skill in the field?" is a question that plagues inventors and even patent examiners. To address this problem the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is publishing examination guidelines to help determine obviousness according to requirements expressed in 35 U.S.C. 103. The guidelines will take effect Oct. 10, 2007 and are intended as internal office help. Rejections will continue to be based upon the substantive law instead of the guidelines. For more information, access the Federal Register, Oct. 10, 2007 (Vol. 72, No. 195, p.57526-57535).

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Display Your Trademark at the USPTO

In an effort to educate consumers about the global economic importance of trademarks, the USPTO will host a trademark display at its Alexandria, Virginia headquarters on April 10-12, 2008. Companies with a registered trademark are encouraged to apply for one of the exhibit spots.The deadline for applying is December 15, 2007. Those chosen to exhibit will be notified by January 15, 2008.

The USPTO's criteria for selecting the exhibitors are:

  • Brand recognition - How well-known is the mark?

  • Educational value of the proposed exhibit - How would the trademark holders participation help educate the public about trademarks?

  • Category diversity - Does the applicant's participation help ensure the Expo has a wide selection of trademarks?