Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Holiday Toys Protected by Patents and Trademarks

With the new Star Wars movie setting attendance records, Star Wars toys are popular gifts during this holiday season. As to be expected, patent and trademark protection was sought when they were created. A sampling of design patents include Boba Fett (D264109), Yoda (D265754), Hoth Stormtrooper (D265332) and Jabba the Hutt (D277211) to name a few.  Trademarks range from film names like the Empire Strikes Back to character names like Luke Skywalker now even used on wine products (Skywalker Vineyards).  

Friday, December 4, 2015

2016 National Inventors Hall of Fame Inductees

The National Inventors Hall of Fame has announced the 2016 National Inventors Hall of Fame inductees, a diverse group of living and deceased groundbreaking scientists whose inventions have made a tangible impact on society. The winners will be formally inducted on May 5, 2016 at the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the National Portrait Gallery.
More information is available from http://invent.org/inductees/ or from a CBS news story.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Dossier Access - New USPTO Tool

Announcement from the USPTO:

On November 23, 2015 the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) launched the first service for Global Dossier - Dossier Access  a user-friendly online interface, which will make it easier for patent applicants to quickly and easily view, monitor and manage intellectual property (IP) protection worldwide by providing access to the dossiers of related applications filed at participating offices.

Searching Dossier Access allow users to see the patent family for an application as well as related applications filed at member offices (the EPO, JPO, KIPO, SIPO, and the USPTO).  Users can also access documents related to the application(s) as well as classification data and citation data.

Global Dossier is a set of business services aimed at modernizing the global patent system and delivering benefits to all stakeholders through a single portal/user interface. Though Dossier Access, the public will be able to obtain data that is timely, reliable understandable, standardized and of high quality.

The USPTO, in the furtherance of the Global Dossier Initiative, will be continuing to enhance the services of Global Dossier. We have several high priority services that we are currently evaluating, including a mechanism for sharing documents between offices. The business services of Global Dossier are being designed with users in mind and the USPTO will be seeking public input throughout the entire development process. IdeaScale is one of the ways that the USTPO’s Office of International Patent Cooperation (OIPC) will be gathering stakeholder input, feedback, and suggestions on Global Dossier.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Regional USPTO Office in Dallas Opened Nov. 9, 2015

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) opened its fourth regional office on Monday, Nov. 9, 2015 in Dallas, Texas serving Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Texas. Located in the Terminal Annex Federal Building in Dallas, the building includes a public search facility, a training room and spaces for conferences with patent examiners. See more information in the USPTO's Nov. 13 blog post (https://www.commerce.gov/…/us-patent-and-trademark-office-o…)
and on the webpage of the Dallas office (http://www.uspto.gov/about-us/uspto-locations/dallas-texas).

Friday, November 13, 2015

Patent and Trademark Searching for Business Owners Webinar

The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) are offering a free three-day webinar series next week to help business owners, inventors, entrepreneurs, and start-ups understand the value of conducting proper prior patent and trademark searches.

What Will Be Covered:
•   What are patents and trademarks?
•   What are the benefits of patent and trademark searching?
•   What are some of the strategies for conducting a search?
•   What are some of the factors to consider when you conduct a search?

Webinar Topics, USPTO Speakers, and Access Information:

Day 1 – November 17, 1 p.m.  ET – Patent Searching – Gwen Blackwell
Event number: 995 336 700 Event password: 12345
Join audio conference only: Call-in toll number (US/Canada): 1-650-479-3208 Access code: 995 336 700
________________________________________
Day 2 - November 18, 1 p.m. ET – Trademark Searching – Catherine Cain
Event number: 995 724 657 Event password: 12345
Join audio conference only: Call-in toll number (US/Canada): 1-650-479-3208 Access code: 995 724 657
________________________________________
Day 3 – November 19, 1 p.m. ET – General Town Hall Q&A Session – Anthony Knight and Scott Baldwin
Event number: 991 047 950 Event password: 12345
Join audio conference only: Call-in toll number (US/Canada): 1-650-479-3208 Access code: 991 047 950

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Change Regarding Correction of Foreign Priority Claims

Notice from the Federal Register, Vol. 80, No. 193 (Tues., Oct. 6, 2015) pp. 60367-60368

SUMMARY: The American Inventors Protection Act of 1999 (AIPA) provided for publication of patent applications at eighteen months from the earliest filing date for which a benefit is claimed. Thus, the patent laws and regulations require that foreign priority or domestic benefit claims, specifying the application number, country (or intellectual property authority), and filing date of any foreign application for which priority is claimed and the application number of any domestic application for which benefit is claimed, be submitted in a timely manner to allow for publication at eighteen months from the earliest filing date for which a benefit is claimed. It has been United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) practice to require that any correction of the application number in a domestic benefit claim after the time period for filing a priority or benefit claim be via a petition to accept an unintentionally delayed benefit claim, but to permit correction of the application number in a foreign priority claim after the time period for filing a priority or benefit claim without such a petition. This dissimilar treatment of the correction of foreign priority claims and domestic benefit claims results in the publication of a corrected patent application publication reflecting the accurate domestic benefit claim information whenever an applicant corrects the application number in a domestic benefit claim in a pending application, but not whenever an applicant corrects the application number of the foreign application in a foreign priority claim. The rationale for the practice of permitting correction of the application number in a foreign priority claim without a petition was because the filing date of a prior foreign patent application did not affect the effective prior art date of a U.S. patent application publication and because the USPTO schedules publication of an application with the filing date provided by applicant in a foreign priority claim. The Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA), however, now provides that the filing date of an earlier foreign patent application may now be the effective prior art date for subject matter disclosed in a U.S. patent or a U.S. patent application publication. Therefore, U.S. patent application publications should reflect accurate foreign priority information to minimize the burden on examiners and members of the public in assessing the effective prior art date for subject matter disclosed in such U.S. patent application publications. The USPTO will thus now require that any correction of the identification of the foreign application (by application number, country (or intellectual property authority), and filing date) in a foreign priority claim after the time period for filing a priority or benefit claim be via a petition to accept an unintentionally delayed priority claim, and once the petition is granted in a pending application, will now publish a corrected patent application publication reflecting the accurate foreign priority claim information. Requiring a petition and publishing a corrected patent application publication whenever an applicant corrects the application number in a foreign priority claim or a domestic benefit claim will provide for common treatment of the correction of the identification of a foreign or domestic application in a priority or benefit claim. The publication of a corrected patent application publication by the USPTO will result in corrected patent application publications with accurate foreign priority information which will benefit examiners, applicants and members of the public in assessing the effective prior art date for subject matter disclosed in a U.S. patent application publication.

DATES: Effective Date: The change in this notice takes effect on November 5, 2015. Any corrections to the foreign application number in a foreign priority claim that were previously accepted are not affected by this change in practice.

For more information, please access http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-10-06/html/2015-25407.htm

Monday, September 28, 2015

USPTO Collaborates with the Noun Project

From the USPTO Monthly Review:
On August 28, the USPTO invited the public to participate in its first “Iconathon” at the USPTO campus in Alexandria, Va. An iconathon is a collaborative process where community members work together to create icons that universally represent complex concepts. In this case, designers, students, civic activists, and intellectual property enthusiasts collaborated with Noun Project to create a set of icons representing concepts related to intellectual property (IP). They will be released into the public domain for use by the USPTO and other government agencies and will be available for anyone to use through Noun Project.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Matters Related to First Inventor to File

The Federal Register, Vol. 80, No. 184 (Wed., Sept. 23, 2015) on pages 57346-57347 has a comment request on "Matters Related to First Inventor to File." The Department of Commerce is collecting information with the following needs and uses:
This information collection is necessary so that patent applicants and/or patentees may: (1) Provide a statement if a nonprovisional application filed on or after March 16, 2013, claims the benefit of the filing date of a foreign, provisional, or nonprovisional application filed prior to March 16, 2013, and also contains, or contained at any time, a claim to a claimed invention that has an effective filing date on or after March 16, 2013; (2) provide a statement if a nonprovisional application filed on or after March 16, 2013, claims the benefit of the filing date of a foreign, provisional, or nonprovisional application filed prior to March 16, 2013, does not contain a claim to a claimed invention that has an effective filing date on or after March 16, 2013, but discloses subject matter not also disclosed in the foreign, provisional, or nonprovisional application; (3) identify the inventor, and ownership on the effective filing date, of each claimed invention in an application or patent with more than one named inventor, when necessary for purposes of a USPTO proceeding; and (4) show that a disclosure was by the inventor or joint inventor, or was by a party who obtained the subject matter from the inventor or a joint inventor, or that there was a prior public disclosure by the inventor or a joint inventor, or by a party who obtained the subject matter from the inventor or a joint inventor.

For more information: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-09-23/html/2015-24144.htm

Monday, September 21, 2015

Collaboration Search Pilot Program - USPTO with JPO (Japan) and with KIPO (Korea)

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has signed an agreement with the Japan Patent Office (JPO) and a second with the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) to launch the Collaboration Search Pilot Program (CSP). The purpose of this pilot is to provide stakeholders with search results from two offices early in the examination process so the applicant can determine their next steps in patent prosecution. Once a petition has been granted by both offices, the application will be accelerated in both offices allowing for faster prosecution.

The pilot program will run for two years. The JPO Pilot began August 1, 2015 and the KIPO Pilot September 1, 2015.

For more information, please see the CSP website at http://www.uspto.gov/patents-getting-started/international-protection/collaborative-search-pilot-program-csp or email CSP@USPTO.GOV.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Streamlined, Expedited Patent Appeal Pilot for Small Entities

The Federal Register Vol. 80, No. 178 (Tues., Sept. 15, 2015) on pages 55339-55341 contains the following notice:

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has a procedure under which an application will be advanced out of turn (accorded special status) for examination if the applicant files a petition to make special with the appropriate showing. The USPTO is providing a temporary basis (the Streamlined, Expedited Patent Appeal Pilot for Small Entities) under which a small or micro entity appellant may have an ex parte appeal to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (Board) accorded special status if the appellant has only a single appeal pending before the Board and the appellant agrees to streamline the appeal. Specifically, the appeal must not involve any claim subject to a rejection for lack of written description, enablement, or best mode, or for indefiniteness, and the appellant must agree to the disposition of all claims subject to each ground of rejection as a single group and waive any request for an oral hearing. The Streamlined, Expedited Patent Appeal Pilot for Small Entities will allow small or micro entity appellants who streamline their appeals to have greater control over the priority with which their appeals are decided.

DATES: Effective Date: September 18, 2015.

Duration: The Streamlined, Expedited Patent Appeal Pilot for Small Entities is being adopted on a temporary basis and [[Page 55340]] will run until two thousand (2,000) appeals have been accorded special status under the pilot, or until September 16, 2016, whichever occurs earlier.

See the complete notice at: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-09-15/html/2015-23090.htm


Thursday, August 20, 2015

Partnering in Patents Meeting

Message from the USPTO:
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is pleased to announce that the Software Partnership has joined with Partnering in Patents for the next meeting on October 21, 2015 to be held on its Alexandria, VA campus. The meeting is an all-day event including a morning interactive focus session and an afternoon lecture program/discussion session. The morning focus session will be held from 9:00 am – 11:00 am and will feature an interactive group discussion on tools for quality enhancements. The afternoon program will run from 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm with discussion topics including USPTO initiatives, functional claiming, 35 U.S.C. § 101 and patent quality.
Partnering in Patents is a collaboration between the USPTO and the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA) Electronics and Computer Law Committee. The Software Partnership provides opportunities to bring stakeholders together to share ideas, experiences and insights and serves as a forum for an informal discussion of many topics specific to the software community. This joint meeting will provide an opportunity to advance the conversation about improving examination of software related patents. Members of the public are invited to attend each session.
Discussion of the program topics and additional ideas from the public will be solicited during the meeting. While public attendees will be offered the opportunity to provide input, group consensus advice will not be sought.
Additional information on both sessions can be found at the AIPLA Partnering in Patents webpage http://www.aipla.org/learningcenter/AM15/Pages/2014PIP.aspx. There is no cost to attend the meeting. However, if CLE credit is sought there is a $100 administrative fee, and advance registration is required.
DATE AND LOCATION: The Partnership Meeting will be held on Wednesday, October 21, 2015 at the USPTO Madison Auditorium North, Concourse Level, Madison Building, 600 Dulany Street, Alexandria, VA 22314. The focus session will be held from 9:00 am – 11:00 am. The afternoon program will run from 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm and will be accessible via WebEx.
Requests for Attendance at the Partnership Meeting:
To register for attendance to the joint meeting of Partnering in Patents and the Software Partnership please complete the registration form at the link below. Please indicate on your registration form whether you will participate in the morning focus session. Onsite registration will be permitted on a space available basis.
The completed registration form should be returned to AIPLA at:
Fax: 703.415.0786
Mail: AIPLA c/o Meetings, 241 18th St. S., Suite 700, Arlington, VA 22202
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT: Seema S. Rao by telephone at (571) 272-0800 or via email to seema.rao@uspto.gov.

Biotechnology, Chemical and Pharmaceutical Customer Partnership (BCP) Meeting

Message from the USPTO:

The USPTO’s next Biotechnology, Chemical and Pharmaceutical Customer Partnership (BCP) Meeting will be jointly hosted by Technology Centers 1600 (Biotechnology and Organic Chemistry) and 1700 (Chemical and Materials Engineering). This meeting will be on September 14, 2015 and will be simultaneously available at locations in the USPTO Headquarters (Alexandria, VA) and the Midwest Regional Office (Detroit, MI).  Participants will be able to interact with Office personnel in person at both locations, or alternatively, via webcast.

Some of the topics to be discussed by USPTO staff and stakeholders will include:
·         Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC) Overview
·         Trends in Subject Matter Eligibility for Biotechnology Inventions (A Customer Perspective)
·         Practitioner’s Perspective on 101 as applied to Biotech Applications
·         Third Party Submission
·         AIA 130 Declaration
·         PCT National Stage Filing Tips
·         Double Patenting
Registration Information: Please email USPTOBCP1600@USPTO.GOV (link sends e-mail) to RSVP by September 9, 2015. Please include “BCP RSVP” in the email subject line.  In the email body, please include the following information:
·         Your name, title and organization
·         Contact information (e-mail, phone, etc.)
·         Your attending location ( Alexandria, Detroit, or online)

Thursday, August 13, 2015

USPTO/AIPLA Roadshows on Patent Quality and AIA Trials

The USPTO and AIPLA (American Intellectual Property Law Association) will co-host a series of cross-country roadshows later this month with stops in Santa Clara, California; Dallas, Texas; and Alexandria, Virginia. Each daylong program will focus on enhancing patent quality (morning session) and conducting AIA trials (afternoon session), with numerous speakers from the USPTO and private practice.
CLE is available, and lunch is included. To register to attend, please visit: http://www.aipla.org/learningcenter/AIARoadShows/Pages/default.aspx
Deadline to register is Aug.18. Hope you’ll join us for a full day of learning from the experts!
Schedule:
Monday, Aug. 24, 2015
  • Santa Clara University, Locatelli Center
  • Co-sponsored by the High Tech Law Institute of Santa Clara Law
Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2015
  • Belo Mansion, Dallas
  • Co-sponsored by the IP Section of the Dallas Bar Association
Friday, Aug. 28, 2015
  • USPTO headquarters, Madison Auditorium


Agenda:
Time
(Local Time)
Topic
9 to 9:10 am
Opening Remarks
9:10 to 9:45 am
Track 1: Patent Quality Initiative Overview
9:45 to 10:45 am
Track 2: Clarity of the Record and Drafting High Quality Applications
10:45 to 11 am
BREAK
11 to Noon
Track 3: Interviews and Measuring Quality
Noon to 1:30 pm
LUNCH-Luncheon Speaker: Russell Slifer, Deputy Director of the USPTO
1:30 to 1:50 pm
Track 4: PTAB State of the Board
1:50 to 2:45 pm
Track 5: Proposed AIA Trial Rule Changes
2:45 to 3:30 pm
Track 6: Hot Issues in AIA Trials
3:30 to 4 pm
BREAK
4 to 5 pm
Track 7: Actual AIA Trial Hearing
 

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Windows 10 Issues with Select Patent Pages

Windows 10 comes installed with a new web browser, Microsoft Edge, that does not support plug-ins and will not run Java. Because Java is required for authentication to EFS-Web and Private PAIR, this impacts your ability to access EFS-Web and Private PAIR via Microsoft Edge.
To access EFS-Web and Private PAIR using Windows 10, Oracle is recommending the use of alternative browsers such as Firefox and Internet Explorer. IE11 will also be available on Windows10. For additional information regarding Java compatibility and instructions on how to access IE11 on Windows 10, please visit: http://www.java.com/en/download/faq/win10_faq.xml
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is working on a longer term plan to improve the overall authentication process. For USPTO updates regarding this issue, please visit either of our Announcements pages:
If you need assistance with this matter, or have questions on any eFiling topic, please visit the Patent Electronic Business Center webpage: http://www.uspto.gov/learning-and-resources/support-centers/patent-electronic-business-center for comprehensive contact information, FAQ’s, and other eFiling resources.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

July 2015 Update on Subject Matter Eligibility

The July 30, 2015 edition of the Federal Register (Vol. 80, no. 146) on page 45429 contains a request for comment about subject matter eligibility:

SUMMARY: The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) prepared interim guidance (2014 Interim Patent Eligibility Guidance) for use by USPTO personnel in determining subject matter eligibility in view of then-recent decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court (Supreme Court). The USPTO published the 2014 Interim Patent Eligibility Guidance in the Federal Register, and sought public comment on the 2014 Interim Patent Eligibility Guidance. The USPTO has since produced an update pertaining to patent subject matter eligibility titled July 2015 Update: Subject Matter Eligibility, which is available to the public on the USPTO's Internet Web site, in response to the public comment on the 2014 Interim Patent Eligibility Guidance.

The July 2015 Update: Subject Matter Eligibility includes a new set of examples and discussion of various issues raised by the public comments, and is intended to assist examiners in applying the 2014 Interim Patent Eligibility Guidance during the patent examination process. The USPTO is now seeking public comment on the July 2015 Update: Subject Matter Eligibility.

COMMENT DEADLINE DATE:  To be ensured of consideration, written comments on July 2015 Update: Subject Matter Eligibility must be received on or before October 28, 2015.


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

FREE Webinars in August -- Hosted by the USPTO and MBDA: Getting a Good Handle on Intellectual Property

Are the processes for securing intellectual property protection for your ideas, business tag lines, product names, or even registering your company’s name overwhelming for you? Well, we’re here to help by providing sound answers questions about patents, trademarks, and copyrights.

As part of a national intellectual property (IP) outreach program, the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), will co-host three free, one-hour webinars. These webinars will help business owners, entrepreneurs, institutions, law firms, and inventors gain useful advice, and recommendations by answering the most prevalent IP questions.

Register today for the webinar series and learn some valuable tips that will help to protect your innovations and market your products.

August 11 – IP Overview: What is Intellectual Property 
August 12 – Patents: Design Patents Update (Hague Agreement)
August 13 – General: Getting Assistance from the USPTO

Register at http://1.usa.gov/1HHmv26

All webinar begins at 1 p.m. Eastern Time

Monday, July 13, 2015

New Collaborative Search Pilot Program with the Japan Patent Office

From the Federal Register, Vol. 80, No. 132 (Friday, July 10, 2015) [Pages 39752-39759] [FR Doc No: 2015-16846]
SUMMARY: The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is initiating a joint Work Sharing Pilot Program with the Japan Patent Office (JPO) to study whether the exchange of search results between offices for corresponding counterpart applications improves patent quality and facilitates the examination of patent applications in both offices. In the pilot program, each office will conduct a prior artsearch for its corresponding counterpart application and exchange the search results with the other office before
[[Page 39753]]
either office issues a communication concerning patentability to the applicant. As a result of this exchange of search results, the examiners in both offices may have a more comprehensive set of references before them when making their initial patentability determinations. Each office will accord special status to its counterpart application to first action. First Action Interview (FAI) pilot program procedures will be applied during the examination of the U.S. application and make the search results of record in the form of a Pre-Interview Communication.
DATES: Effective date: August 1, 2015.
Duration: Under the United States-Japan Collaborative Pilot (US-JP CSP) program, the USPTO and JPO will accept petitions to participate for two years from its effective date. During each year, the pilot program will be limited to 400 granted petitions, 200 granted petitions where USPTO performs the first search and JPO performs the second search, and 200 granted petitions where JPO performs the first search and USPTO performs the second search. The offices may extend the pilot program (with or without modification) for an additional amount oftime, if necessary. The offices reserve the right to terminate the pilot program at any time.
See the complete text at: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-07-10/html/2015-16846.htm

More information is also available from the Collaborative Search Pilot Program page at http://www.uspto.gov/patents-getting-started/international-protection/collaborative-search-pilot-program-csp or by emailing CSP@USPTO.GOV.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

2nd Patent Quality Chat on July 14th

If you missed the first Patent Quality Chat webinar on June 9 hosted by Deputy Commissioner for Patent Examination Policy Drew Hirshfeld on the topic Clarity of Record, a one-hour video recording can be found at http://helix-1.uspto.gov/player/20150609_PatentQuality.html and is also linked on the Patent Quality Chat webpage http://www.uspto.gov/patent/initiatives/patent-quality-chat along with the slide presentation.

On Tuesday, July 14 from 12:00 - 1:00 pm EDT, the second Patent Quality chat will be hosted by Director of Technology Center 2400 Timothy Callahan on the topic Face-to-Face Examiner Interviews: A Demonstration of USPTO Tools. See instructions for accessing the chat at http://www.uspto.gov/patent/initiatives/patent-quality-chat (scroll down to the section, Webcast Instructions).

Regularly scheduled on the second Tuesday of each month, these Patent Quality Chats are a lunchtime webinar series designed to provide information on various patent quality topics and to continue the dialogue between the USPTO and its stakeholders about enhancing patent quality.

Future webinar dates of Sept. 8, Oct. 13, and Nov. 10 are scheduled and may include topics such as Office of Patent Quality Review (OPQA) Processes, Compact Prosecution, and Special Programs for Patent Prosecution. No registration is required for these free webinars.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Changes in the Requirements for Collective Marks

Changes in Requirements for Collective Trademarks and Service Marks, Collective Membership Marks, and Certification Marks
Final rule
Federal Register Volume 80, Number 112 (Thursday, June 11, 2015)] [Pages 33170-33190]

SUMMARY: The United States Patent and Trademark Office (``USPTO'') is amending the rules related to collective trademarks, collective service marks, and collective membership marks (together ``collective marks''), and certification marks to clarify application requirements, allegations of use requirements, multiple-class application requirements, and registration maintenance requirements for such

[[Page 33171]]

marks. These rule changes codify current USPTO practice set forth in the USPTO's ``Trademark Manual of Examining Procedure'' (``TMEP'') and precedential case law. These changes also permit the USPTO to provide the public more detailed guidance regarding registering and maintaining registrations for these types of marks and promote the efficient and consistent processing of such marks. Further, the USPTO is amending several rules beyond those related to collective marks and certification marks to create consistency with rule changes regarding such marks and to streamline the rules, by consolidating text and incorporating headings, for easier use.

DATES: This rule is effective on July 11, 2015.

To see the complete rule access: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-06-11/html/2015-14267.htm

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Cynthia Lynch, Office of the Deputy Commissioner for Trademark Examination Policy, at (571) 272-8742 or tmpolicy@uspto.gov.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

National Summer Teacher Institute on Innovation, STEM, and Intellectual Property

Notice from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO):
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will host its 2nd Annual National Summer Teacher Institute on Innovation, STEM, and Intellectual Property on July 12-17, 2015 in Dallas, Texas. This multi-day professional development training opportunity is designed to help middle and high school teachers incorporate concepts of making, inventing, and intellectual property creation and protection into classroom instruction. Participants are expected to implement lessons learned into their classrooms in order to support development of a STEM/Innovation- learning ecosystem. The program is open to teachers nation-wide. Apply to be a part of this exciting program. Travel and lodging expenses, in accordance with the Federal Travel Regulations and USPTO travel policy, will be covered for teachers who are traveling more than 50 miles to the venue. For more information, review our FAQ. Space is limited! Apply Now! (Requires Adobe Reader®)
.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Amendments to the Rules of Practice for Trials Before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board

[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 96 (Tuesday, May 19, 2015)]
[Pages 28561-28566]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-12117]
==================================================
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE, Patent and Trademark Office, 37 CFR Part 42, [Docket No. PTO-P-2015-0032], RIN 0651-AD00
Amendments to the Rules of Practice for Trials Before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board
AGENCY: Patent Trial and Appeal Board, United States Patent and Trademark Office, U.S. Department of Commerce.
ACTION: Final rule.
--------------------------------------------------
SUMMARY: This final rule amends the existing consolidated set of rules relating to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (Office or USPTO) trial practice for inter partes review, post-grant review, the transitional program for covered business method patents, and derivation proceedings that implemented provisions of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (``AIA'') providing for trials before the Office.

DATES: Effective Date: This rule is effective May 19, 2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Susan L. C. Mitchell, Lead Administrative Patent Judge by telephone at (571) 272-9797.

To see the complete rule, access http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-05-19/html/2015-12117.htm

.

Monday, May 18, 2015

International Registration of Industrial Designs

Message from the USPTO:

The Geneva Act of the Hague Agreement concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs (Hague Agreement) became effective for the United States on May 13, 2015.

It is now possible for United States (U.S.) applicants to file a single international design application either with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) or through the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) as an office of indirect filing to obtain protection in a number of countries that are party to the Hague Agreement. In addition, applicants filing international design applications on or after May 13, 2015 will be able to designate the United States for design protection. U.S. design patents resulting from applications filed on or after May 13, 2015 will have a 15-year term from the date of issuance.

The Hague Agreement is an international registration system which offers the possibility of obtaining protection for up to 100 industrial designs in designated member countries and intergovernmental organizations (referred to as "Contracting Parties") by filing a single international application in a single language either directly with the International Bureau of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) or indirectly through the office of applicant's Contracting Party.

For more information: http://www.uspto.gov/patent/initiatives/hague-agreement-concerning-international-registration-industrial-designs

Friday, May 15, 2015

European Patent Office Free Webinars

The European Patent Office (EPO), the United States Patent and Trademark Office's partner in Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC), has scheduled some upcoming free hour-long webinars specifically timed to be convenient for United States viewers. They will take place at 11:00AM Eastern Time/8:00AM Pacific Time. This shows up on the registration web page as 5:00PM Central European Time.

Webinar Topics

  • Introduction to Espacenet June 10, 2015
  • Espacenet and Global Dossier June 17, 2015
  • Cooperative Patent Classification June 23, 2015
  • Federated European Register—Legal Status Information June 25, 2015
  • Espacenet and Common Citation Document September 7, 2015
  • European Patent Register, Global Dossier and Register Alert September 9, 2015
  • Espacenet Advanced September 29, 2015
All webinars are free of charge. The webinars use the WebEx platform.

To register go to www.epo.org/vc.

For more information access https://www.epo.org/learning-events/events/training/patent-information.html or contact pitraining@epo.org .

Friday, April 24, 2015

Patent Application Alert System

Message from the USPTO:
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) through its partnership with Reed Technology and Information Services are pleased to announce the release of the Patent Application Alert Service. The Patent Application Alert Service, https://www.uspatentappalerts.com/index.php, is a system that will provide customized email alerts when patent applications of interest are published. This service will provide, to the public, free direct access to the published applications that meet their search criteria.

These customized email alerts may help the public identify prior art for “pre-issuance” submission into these applications. The pre-issuance submission process was established under the American Invents Act (AIA), and to date, the Office has received more than 2,600 submissions across all technologies. More information on the pre-issuance submission program and how members of the public can participate can be found at http://www.uspto.gov/patent/initiatives/third-party-preissuance-submissions.html.

The Patent Application Alert Service is the result of collaboration between the USPTO and its various stakeholders during a public roundtable on crowdsourcing and pre-issuance submissions to identify relevant prior art held in April 2014. The Office is excited that this new service is a direct result of its continued stakeholder engagement and that it may be used to enhance the quality of examination and issued patents.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Find Legal Representation for Patenting - Free Webinar

Message from the USPTO:
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is hosting a free webinar on Thursday, May 21, 2015 from 2 to 5 pm Eastern Time (1 to 4 pm CST) about resources to help applicants secure legal representation and assistance with patent filings to protect their inventions. The webinar is an especially excellent opportunity for independent inventors and those interested in learning more about the patent system to discover what services the USPTO has to offer.

The webinar will feature discussions and questions/answers with agency experts on the following topics:

  • Availability of free attorney representation in nearly all states for under-resourced independent inventors and small businesses in filing and prosecuting patent applications through the Patent Pro Bono Program;
  • Availability of free assistance in drafting and filing either patent or trademark applications through various law school clinics across the country; and
  • Resources for inventors to learn about the patent application process and how to file their own applications as pro se applicants (i.e., without legal representation).
Mark your calendars to attend! A detailed event agenda and webinar access instructions are available at: http://www.uspto.gov/patent/initiatives/executive-actions/uspto-webinar-patent-pro-se-pro-bono-and-law-school-clinic

Learn more about USPTO tools and services to address patent filing needs by consulting:

Going Global with Intellectual Property Webinars

Message from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) about free webinars to expand knowledge of international aspects of global property:

Webinar Series Schedule

Tuesday: Copyrights – April 28, 1 p.m. ET (noon CST)

Webinar overview: There is no such thing as “international copyright,” but most countries do offer copyright protection to foreign works under certain conditions that have been greatly simplified by international copyright treaties and conventions. Nonetheless, today’s businesses are increasingly facing both national and global copyright issues through protection and use of copyrighted materials in the digital age. This webinar will lay the foundation with a brief explanation of the Berne Convention, followed by a discussion of the ways in which copyright laws in the countries of the world are similar or different, and conclude with examples of typical scenarios encountered by today’s businesses in protecting and using copyrighted works on the internet. Participants also will be provided a “refresher” on what copyright is and the importance of copyright to all businesses, regardless of the industry or nature of the business.

Presenter:

Susan Anthony is the Acting Director for the Global Intellectual Property Academy (GIPA), in the USPTO’s Office of Policy and International Affairs in Alexandria, Virginia. GIPA provides training and education on all intellectual property issues – patents, trade secrets, trademarks, and copyright – for foreign and U.S. government officials, U.S. small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and to the general public. Ms. Anthony has a broad range of experience and expertise in almost all facets of intellectual property protection and enforcement, in the United States and abroad.

Wednesday: Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) – April 29, 1 p.m. ET (noon CST)

Webinar overview: Discover how filing an international patent application under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) can simultaneously assist you in seeking patent protection for your invention in 148 countries around the world. Also, learn how the PCT provides guidance to collaborating patent offices on patent granting decisions, and offers the public access to technical information relating to intellectual property issues.

Presenter:

Michael Neas is the Deputy Director of the International Patent Legal Administration at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Mr. Neas has spoken extensively on PCT subject matter to organizations such as national and local bar associations, and foreign IP Offices. In addition, Mr. Neas and his staff provide training on the filing and prosecution of PCT and United States (U.S.) national stage applications to inventors, applicants, patent practitioners, patent examiners, and paralegals. His staff also provides direct assistance on PCT and U.S. national stage applications via the USPTO’s PCT Help Desk call center.

Thursday: Trademarks – April 30, 1 p.m. ET (noon CST)

Webinar overview: Well-protected, strong trademark rights provide a competitive edge in the marketplace. Trademarks distinguish your business from those of your competitors by signaling it as the source of particular goods and services and assuring consumers that a certain level of quality accompanies those goods and services. As such, trademarks often represent one of the most valuable assets that a company can own. This webinar will equip today’s businessperson with a fundamental understanding of this valuable form of intellectual property and offer a framework for protection of their marks at home and abroad. Although protection of trademarks can be complex and varies country by country, by learning some basic strategies, today’s business person can safeguard these important assets whether the company does business on a national or international basis.

Presenter:

Susan M. Richey is the Deputy Chief Administrative Trademark Judge on the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Ms. Richey has been a frequent speaker on IP issues, has authored several law review articles and has co-authored a book on trademark valuation. She has served as a member of the Editorial Board of the Trademark Reporter, as chair of the INTA Panel of Neutrals, and as a member of INTA’s Academic Committee. Before joining the TTAB in 2014, Ms. Richey served as a Professor of Law and Associate Dean of the University of New Hampshire School of Law.

More information including a registration link at: http://www.mbda.gov/blogger/export-basics/free-usptombda-webinars-going-global-intellectual-property

Direct registration link (slow responding): http://www.mbda.gov/main/register-going-global-intellectual-property-webinar

Thursday, April 16, 2015

To Patent or Not to Patent - Presentation in Dallas, May 2, 2015, 1:00-3:00 pm

Free workshop to help inventors decide whether they need a patent.

Sat., May 2, 2015 from 1:00 to 3:00 pm at the Dallas Public Library, 1515 Young St., 5th floor.

Register by calling 214-670-1468 or emailing Government@dallaslibrary.org

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Patents/TrademarksTraining by USPTO Staff at Rice University on May 19, 2015

See Patents and Trademarks 101 (http://library.rice.edu/events/patents-and-trademarks-101) for more information about this free patent and trademark searching training from the USPTO on Tuesday, May 19, from 9:00 am - 5:00 pm.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Patent Quality Summit March 25-26, 2015

Notice from the USPTO:

The USPTO will hold a Quality Summit on March 25 and 26, 2015 at the Madison Building, USPTO Headquarters, in Alexandria, Virginia. This Summit will be broadcast via webinar and recorded for later viewing. For webinar participants, participation in all Summit sessions, including the group brainstorming sessions, will be possible. In order to best prepare for the Quality Summit, the USPTO requests that those interested in attending the Quality Summit send an email to WorldClassPatentQuality@uspto.gov (link sends e-mail) indicating their planned attendance by March 18, 2015. ► View Proposed Agenda.

For more information about initiatives to improve the quality of U.S. patents, see Patent Quality Initiative and a blog post by Michelle K. Lee, Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Deputy Director of the USPTO.

Universities Warn Congress About Potentially Harmful Patent Legislation

The Association of American Universities is spotlighting a February 24, 2015 letter written by 144 U.S. universities warning Congress that patent legislation such as the Innovation Act, H.R. 9 "goes well beyond what is needed to address the bad actions of a small number of patent holders, and would instead make it more difficult and expensive for patent holders to defend their rights in good faith." The universities are especially worried that mandatory fee-shifting and involuntary joinder "would make the legitimate defense of patent rights excessively risky and thus weaken the university technology transfer process, which is an essential part of our country’s innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem."
The full text of the letter is available at: http://www.aau.edu/policy/article.aspx?id=15923

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

E-mail Reminders for Trademark Maintenance Filing Deadlines

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will send courtesy e-mail reminders of upcoming post-registration maintenance trademark filing deadlines for §§8 and 71 declarations and §9 renewals to registration owners who (1) provided a valid e-mail address to the USPTO; (2) authorized e-mail communication; and (3) have “live” registrations on the date of sending. The courtesy e-mail reminders will be sent on the first day of the statutory filing period for the maintenance filing (e.g., 5th year anniversary date, 9th year anniversary date, 19th year anniversary date, etc.) to all e-mail addresses of record within the Correspondence and Current Owner(s) Information fields, as indicated in Office records. To ensure receipt of the courtesy e-mail reminders, registration owners are reminded to add the USPTO to their “safe senders list” and/or confirm that their e-mail server will accept e-mail from the USPTO and will not treat it as junk mail or spam. No reminders will be sent by regular mail, and no follow-up e-mails will be attempted for undeliverable e-mails.

For additional information about the courtesy e-mail reminders, including instructions on how to add the USPTO to your “safe senders list,” please visit www.uspto.gov/trademarks/notices/reminder_maintenance_filings.jsp.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Trademarks Next Generation Acceptable Identification of Goods and Services Manual (IDM-NG)

Message from the USPTO:

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has announced the public debut of the Trademarks Next Generation Acceptable Identification of Goods and Services Manual (IDM-NG). The IDM-NG, launched in “beta format”, features basic and advanced searching options, results that are returned in a sortable table and relevance ranking entries that correlate to the requested search criteria.  The IDM-NG will be available in tandem with the long established “legacy” ID Manual. Both systems will continue to be maintained and contain synchronized data.  The USPTO encourages users to compare and contrast the systems and provide feedback and suggestions to TMFeedback@uspto.gov with the subject “TMNG IDM Feedback.” Your input will shape the next phase of evolution in Trademarks Next Generation.

The TMNG-IDM is best viewed in Microsoft® Internet Explorer® Version 9 and higher, but is also accessible in Google® Chrome® browser version 32. Display resolution settings above 900px are recommended for optimal viewing of the search window and results table.

To view the IDM-NG in the beta format please visit: https://tmidm.uspto.gov