Friday, October 19, 2018

Unauthorized changes to trademark files

Unauthorized changes have been made to a number of active trademark applications and registrations. These changes may be part of a scheme to register the marks of others on third-party “brand registries.” Unauthorized parties have filed forms through our Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS) to make these changes. Although these instances affect a small percentage of total applications and registrations, we want to make sure our customers are aware of the problem as we work to resolve it.

See our webpage on unauthorized changes for steps to take if you believe your trademark application or registration has been impacted by an unauthorized change.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

EFS-Web and Private PAIR authentication change: Sponsorship tool

EFS-Web and Private PAIR users now have a new, safer, and simpler login. In November, a new sponsorship tool will be available for registered practitioners to sponsor their support staff, who work on their behalf. We will no longer support the existing public key infrastructure (PKI) certificates for two-factor authentication because the PKI authentication software vendor will no longer support the product after 2018. 
Creating an account
If you or your support staff do not already have USPTO.gov accounts, you will need to create one and opt-in for two-step authentication. 
Migrating an existing account
If you are a registered practitioner or independent inventor with an existing PKI digital certificate, use our migration tool with these step-by-step instructions to link your new USPTO.gov account to your current PKI digital certificate.
Using your new account
There are new URLs for EFS-Web and Private PAIR when signing in using your USPTO.gov account. You will need to update any bookmarks you may have:
More Information
Please review the Patent Electronic System Access Document for additional information on authentication, sponsorship, and verification for accessing patent electronic systems.
We invite you to register for multiple information sessions related to this authentication change, because new information will be added as it becomes available. 
For more information, visit Authentication Change for EFS-Web and PAIR.
If you need assistance creating your USPTO.gov account, please call the USPTO Contact Center (UCC) at 800-786-9199. For assistance with migration, please contact the Patent Electronic Business Center at ebc@uspto.gov or 866-217-9197.

Monday, October 15, 2018

October Inventor Info Chat

Join the next USPTO Inventor Info Chat webinar on Oct. 18, from 11 a.m. to noon ET for an informative discussion on "Responding to Pre-Examination Notices.”
The chat will present tips for more effectively responding to Notices of Missing Parts and Notices of Incomplete Application. One of our patent application processing specialists will be available to answer your questions. Submit questions via email to inventorinfochat@uspto.gov.
To register, visit the Inventor Info Chat webinar event page.
The Inventor Info Chat webinar series is presented by the Office of Innovation Development, which fosters invention and entrepreneurship by providing full access to the U.S. intellectual property system. 
For assistance and to view past programs, please contact oidevents@uspto.gov

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Texas A&M University Libraries will be hosting Patent and Trademark Day

It will take place at the Sterling C. Evans Library, Room 204E, in College Station on Tuesday, November 6th from 8:30am-4:30pm.

In conjunction with the library celebrating its 35th anniversary of being a Patent and Trademark Resource Center (PTRC), the library will be having two librarians from the USPTO provide a full day of workshops on intellectual property, including how to search for existing patents and trademarks.  Below is a schedule of the day’s events:
  • 8:30-9:00AM: Sign-in
  • 9:00-9:15AM: Welcome and PTRC Services Information
  • 9:15-10:30AM: Overview of Patents, Trademarks, Copyrights and Trade Secrets
  • 10:30-10:45AM: Break
  • 10:45-11:45AM: Local Resources Panel
    • McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship
    • TAMUS Technology Commercialization
    • Research Valley Small Business Development Center
    • School of Innovation
  • 11:45AM-12:45PM: Lunch (provided)
  • 12:45-2:00PM: 7-Step Strategy for Preliminary U.S. Patent Search Using USPTO Databases
  • 2:00-2:30PM: 35th Anniversary Remarks
  • 2:30-3:45PM: Conducting a Preliminary Trademark Search Using USPTO Databases
  • 3:45-4:15PM: Non-USPTO Solicitations and Invention Promotion Scams: Asking the Right Questions
  • 4:15-4:30PM: Review and Questions; Adjournment
Snacks and lunch will be provided at no cost.  We just ask that attendees RSVP so we can plan accordingly for seats, handouts, and food. 

For more information or to register: bit.ly/PatentTrade2018


Tuesday, October 9, 2018

New webpage for refund information

The new Refund Information page of the USPTO website is a comprehensive resource for refund requestors seeking general information about refunds, their eligibility, and instructions for submitting a request using the new Request for Refund form (PTO-2326). The page includes information about:
  1. Time limits
  2. Who can submit
  3. What to provide
  4. Where to submit
For assistance, contact the Refund Branch at 571-272-6500 or RADHelpdesk@uspto.gov.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

AFCP 2.0 Extended

The After-Final Consideration Pilot 2.0 (AFCP 2.0) has been extended to Sept. 30, 2019. AFCP 2.0 and Quick Path Information Disclosure Statement (QPIDS) are part of the USPTO's ongoing efforts towards compact prosecution and increased collaboration between examiners and stakeholders.
Learn more on the AFCP 2.0 page on the USPTO website.
If you have any questions, please contact afterfinalconsiderationpilotafcp20@uspto.gov.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Patent Quality Chat

Our Patent Quality Chat webinar continues its 2018 series on Oct. 9, from noon to 1 p.m. ET, with “Leveraging a Harmonized Patent Classification System.”
Join us this month to learn how the USPTO Office of International Patent Cooperation contributes to the development of the Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC) system and other international classification harmonization efforts. We will be discussing how patent offices benefit from extensive searching capabilities while external users see improved searching and patenting activity analysis. We look forward to hearing your thoughts and answering your questions about CPC and international classification harmonization efforts.  
This webinar would be of interest to all those involved in patent prosecution and patent searching. 
No registration is necessary to attend. More information, including how to attend, is available on our event pagePlease send your input and questions to patentquality@uspto.gov before and during the event.
The Patent Quality Chat webinar series is presented as a part of the USPTO’s continuous effort to improve patent quality

Authentication change for EFS-Web and Private PAIR: Migration tool now available

EFS-Web and Private PAIR users now have a new, safer, and simpler login. The new method grants access to multiple USPTO systems with one consolidated sign-in and eliminates shared credentials by providing practitioners and their support staff with their own USPTO.gov accounts.
The Migration Tool is now available for existing PKI digital certificate holders (registered practitioners and independent inventors) to link their USPTO.gov accounts to their current PKI digital certificates. (To successfully migrate, users must already have a USPTO.gov account. If you do not already have one, create a USPTO.gov account and opt in for two-step authentication.) Please follow the step-by-step instructions to migrate and allow 1–2 business days after you finish the migration steps for the process to complete; you can then use your USPTO.gov account to sign in to EFS-Web and Private PAIR. Customer Numbers associated with the PKI certificate will be migrated to the linked USPTO.gov account. PKI certificates can still be used to sign in to EFS-Web and Private PAIR as well.
Please note that there are new URLs for EFS-Web and Private PAIR for signing in using your USPTO.gov account. You will need to update any bookmarks to the new URLs below:
The USPTO has expanded information sessions related to this authentication change. We welcome attendees to register for multiple sessions, because new information will be added as it becomes available. Register for one of the sessions.
For additional information, visit Authentication Change for EFS-Web and PAIR.
If you need assistance creating your USPTO.gov account, please call the USPTO Contact Center (UCC) at 800-786-9199. For assistance with migration, please contact the Patent Electronic Business Center at ebc@uspto.gov or 866-217-9197.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

New examination guide on changes to procedures for certain trademark documents

We issued a new examination guide, “Changes to Procedures Regarding Certain Documents.” It covers new procedures for:
  • Requesting duplicate certificates of registration
  • Submitting letters of protest
The examination guide also covers changes to our internal procedure for email correspondence that is returned to the USPTO as undeliverable.
You can direct questions about this new guide to TMTMEP@uspto.gov.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

September Inventor Info Chat

The next USPTO Inventor Info Chat webinar is Sept. 20 from 11 a.m. to noon ET on "Responding to Pre-Examination Notices.”
Learn tips for more effectively responding to Notices of Missing Parts and Notices of Incomplete Application. Please send your questions to inventorinfochat@uspto.govOne of our patent application processing specialists will answer them during the event.
For more information, including how to register, please visit our InventorInfo Chat - Webinar page on the USPTO website or contact oidevents@uspto.gov.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Authentication change coming for EFS-Web and PAIR

EFS-Web and Private PAIR users will need to use a new, safer, and simpler login beginning this October. The new method will save time by granting access to multiple USPTO systems with one consolidated sign-in and will eliminate shared credentials by providing practitioner and support staff with their own USPTO.gov accounts.
Getting a USPTO.gov account is quick and easy. If you don’t already have a USPTO.gov account, follow these steps:
  1. Visit the Create an account page.
  2. Enter the email address you will use to sign in, as well as other necessary account information, and follow the prompts.
  3. Opt-in to two-step authentication.
  4. Once the tools are available, set up migration and sponsorship.
If you use Financial Manager, you already have a USPTO.gov account:
  1. Just opt-in to two-step authentication.
  2. Once the tools are available, set up migration and sponsorship.
For additional information, please visit Authentication Change for EFS-Web and PAIR.
If you need assistance creating your USPTO.gov account, please call the USPTO Contact Center (UCC) at 800-786-9199. For assistance with migration and sponsorship when the tools are available, please contact the Patent Electronic Business Center at ebc@uspto.gov or 866-217-9197.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Patent Public Advisory Committee Fee Setting Hearing

On Thursday, Sept. 6, the Patent Public Advisory Committee (PPAC) will hold a hearing to discuss the latest USPTO proposals to set or adjust patent related fees. The event will be held at the USPTO's main campus and will be webcast.  
Interested members of the public are invited to testify at the PPAC hearing about the proposed patent fee adjustments. Those wishing to present oral testimony at the hearing must submit a request in writing no later than Aug. 31.  
Requests to testify should indicate the following:  
  1. The name of the person wishing to testify
  2. The person’s contact information (telephone number and email address)
  3. The organization(s) the person represents, if any
  4. An indication of the amount of time needed for the testimony.  
Requests to testify must be submitted by email to Jennifer.Lo@uspto.gov. Speakers providing testimony at the hearing should submit a written copy of their testimony for inclusion in the record of the proceedings no later than Sept. 13. 
Those wishing to submit written comments on the fee proposal should email them to fee.setting@uspto.gov. The deadline for written comments is Sept. 13.
For more information, including how to attend, please visit our event page on the USPTO website.

USPTO systems status update

The USPTO’s systems continue to be operational. You can file your applications electronically through EFS-Web. For those who filed a patent application by paper between August 15 and August 23 because of the outage, the director will prescribe a procedure that will allow you to seek a refund of the paper filing fee. Once the details of this procedure are ready, we will post that information on our website.
Please view our Systems Status page for all updates on the situation.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Anti-Counterfeiting Video Contest

Counterfeit products hurt American businesses and consumers. We need you to help us combat fakes and educate consumers by creating a 30- to 60-second video showing the harmful effects of counterfeit products and the need to stop them at home and abroad.

Need some inspiration to get started? Read "The Basics of Counterfeit Goods" to learn about dangerous counterfeits and how to identify them.

For detailed information on the contest timeline, how to enter the contest, the prizes and judging criteria, please visit the USPTO website:
https://www.uspto.gov/trademark/trademark-updates-and-announcements/anti-counterfeiting-video-contest?utm_campaign=subscriptioncenter&utm_content=&utm_medium=email&utm_name=&utm_source=govdelivery&utm_term=

Friday, August 17, 2018

Update on USPTO systems status and availability

As you may already know from our previous updates, the USPTO has been performing emergency IT maintenance since Wednesday morning due to an issue with the agency’s PALM database, which affects many of our patent filing and payment systems. This issue stems from an internal systems failure and is not the result of any external causes.
I realize this disruption is inconvenient and frustrating to our customers. With that in mind I am in constant contact with the leadership of Patents and our Patent Trial and Appeal Board about how the systems outage is affecting their customers and the work of our employees.
I am also in constant contact with our acting chief information officer and his team about the around-the-clock work they are doing to restore the full functionality of these systems. At this time it appears that our emergency maintenance will continue into the weekend. Until the issue is resolved we will continue providing updates on the Systems Status and Availability page of our website at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. ET.
In the meantime, I want to urge those affected to use the alternative filing and payment methods available to our customers. Given the availability of the alternative methods, we do not plan to extend deadlines. We know you have questions about paper filing fees, and we are examining our options to see how we can address those concerns.
Again, I regret the inconvenience and frustration this has caused to our Patents and PTAB customers, and I want to assure you that we are doing our utmost to resolve the issue as soon as possible.

Andrei Iancu
Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Sign up for virtual training in September -- Clear Obviousness Rejections

Sign up to attend the Sept. 5 virtual training course entitled “Clear Obviousness Rejections: Important Lessons from Outdry v. Geox. USPTO trainers will lead this course based on recent training delivered to patent examiners.
This course has limited capacity, and selection for attendance is on a first-come, first-served basis. The USPTO is applying for CLE credit in Virginia for this course.
Information on upcoming training courses is available on the Virtual Instructor Led Training webpage on the USPTO website.

Inventor Info Chat

On Aug. 16, join USPTO for the next Inventor Info Chat webinar to learn about Global Dossier and how it can benefit you. The webinar will be held from 11 a.m. to noon ET.
Global Dossier is a set of services aimed at modernizing the patent system and delivering benefits to all stakeholders using a single user interface. At the end of the event, you may send questions to our Global Dossier specialist at inventorinfochat@uspto.gov.
More information, including how to attend, is available on our Inventor Info Webinar event page on the USPTO website.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Patent Quality Chat

USPTO's Patent Quality Chat webinar continues its 2018 series on July 10, from noon to 1 p.m. ET, with “Improving Access to Global Patent Data.”
Imagine free access to patent application information from patent offices around the world through one single, secure portal. Global Dossier, a concept delivered by the IP5 Offices (USPTO, EPO, JPO, KIPO, and SIPO), provides such access and more. Attend this webinar to learn about all the Global Dossier services, especially the Citation List for robust prior art searching, and to discuss potential new functionalities for Global Dossier in the future. Please send your input and questions to patentquality@uspto.gov before and during the event.
This webinar is designed for all those involved in patent prosecution and prior art searching.
No registration needed to attend. More information, including how to attend, is available on our event page.
The Patent Quality Chat webinar series is part of the USPTO’s continuous efforts to improve patent quality.