Thursday, January 9, 2014

Michelle K. Lee New Deputy Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker appointed Michelle K. Lee, the current director of the USPTO's Silicon Valley satellite office, as the next Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Deputy Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Engineer and attorney Lee has strived to strengthen patent quality and curb abusive patent legislation. Her background includes working as a Hewlett-Packard computer scientist, a district court law clerk, a partner in a Silicon Valley law firm, and as Google's first Head of Patents and Patent Strategy. For more information, see the press release.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Comments Sought About Prior Art Resources for Software-Related Patent Applications

In a Monday, Jan. 6, 2014 Federal Register Notice, the USPTO is requesting comments about prior art resources used in the examination of software-related patent applications as mentioned in the following summary:

SUMMARY: The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has formed a partnership with the software community to enhance the quality of software-related patents (Software Partnership). The Software Partnership is an opportunity to bring stakeholders together through a series of roundtable discussions to share ideas, feedback, experiences, and insights on software-related patents. On December 5, 2013, as partof the Software Partnership, the USPTO hosted a roundtable discussion on the USPTO's prior art searching techniques and tools. At the roundtable, the USPTO spoke on the prior art resources currently utilized by examiners and listened to external speakers and the public on additional prior art resources and improved search techniques. In order to receive further feedback from stakeholders, the USPTO is requesting comments on the questions regarding prior art resources and search techniques set forth below.

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Extended Missing Parts Pilot Program Available until Dec. 31, 2014

In a Monday, January 6, 2014 Federal Register Notice the USPTO announced an extension of the Extended Missing Parts Pilot Program as follows:

SUMMARY: The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO implemented a pilot program (Extended Missing Parts Pilot Program) in which an applicant, under certain conditions, can request a twelve-month time period to pay the search fee, the examination fee, any excess claim fees, and the surcharge (for the late submission of the search fee and the examination fee) in a nonprovisional application. The Extended Missing Parts Pilot Program benefits applicants by permitting additional time to determine if patent protection should be sought--at a relatively low cost--and by permitting applicants to focus efforts on commercialization during this period. The Extended Missing Parts Pilot Program benefits the USPTO and the public by adding publications to the body of prior art, and by removing from the USPTO's workload those nonprovisional applications for which applicants later decide not to pursue examination. The USPTO is extending the Extended Missing Parts Pilot Program until December 31, 2014, to better gauge whether the Extended Missing Parts Program offers sufficient benefits to the patent community for it to be made permanent.

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Thursday, January 2, 2014

Extension of Comment Period for Copyright Green Paper

From the Federal Register Volume 78, Number 248 (Thursday, December 26, 2013)

SUMMARY: On October 3, 2013, the Department of Commerce's Internet Policy Task Force (Task Force) published a notice of public meeting and a request for public comments on five separate copyright policy issues critical to economic growth, job creation, and cultural development that were identified in the Department's Green Paper on Copyright Policy, Creativity, and Innovation in the Digital Economy (Green Paper). The purpose of this notice is to announce an extension of the period for filing post-meeting comments.

DATES: To be ensured of consideration, post-meeting comments are due on or before January 17, 2014. The filing of pre-meeting comments is not a prerequisite for filing post-meeting comments.

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