Thursday, October 17, 2019

Update on Subject Matter Eligibility

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today provided notice of an update to the 2019 Revised Patent Subject Matter Eligibility Guidance (2019 PEG).
The October 2019 Update responds to public comments regarding the 2019 PEG. The update does not change the 2019 PEG, but provides further explanation on how the USPTO applies such guidance. For example, the update provides additional information on how the USPTO determines if a claim “recites” an abstract idea and how groupings within the abstract idea exception are determined. It also explains the procedures examiners can use to identify “tentative abstract ideas” and provides more information on how examiners evaluate whether a judicial exception is integrated into a practical application. The update also addresses the examiner’s responsibility to provide adequate notice to applicants in making a subject matter eligibility rejection. In addition to the written explanations described above, the update includes additional helpful examples in the life sciences and data processing areas. It also includes an updated index of examples for use with the 2019 PEG and an updated case law chart that lists selected eligibility cases from the U.S. Supreme Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
The October 2019 Update materials are available to the public on the Subject Matter Eligibility page of the USPTO website. Feedback on the update or on any patent eligibility issue is welcome on an ongoing basis. Instructions for submitting feedback, and more information on the public comments, are available on our Subject Matter Eligibility page.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Learn how examiners approach unity of invention

Interested in learning more on recent examination practice and procedure guidance related to unity of invention? Attend our Virtual Instructor Led Training (vILT) course “Unity of Invention” on December 10, 11, and 12, 2019. This course is based on recent training delivered to patent examiners.
Due to limited capacity, selection for attendance is based on a first-come, first-served basis. Use our sign-up form to register.
The USPTO is applying for two hours of CLE credit in Virginia for this course.
You can learn more about the program and upcoming sessions on the vILT page of the USPTO website.

Notice of system maintenance

Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS) and Trademark Electronic Application System International (TEASi) will be unavailable due to system maintenance. After this maintenance period, you will need to log in to a USPTO.gov account with two-step authentication to access TEAS and TEASi forms.
Watch the TEAS and TEASi login requirement webinar to prepare for this change.
When:
Saturday, October 26, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. ET
What you should do:
File all saved forms and e-signature forms by midnight ET on Friday, October 25 to make sure your data is not lost. If you don’t file these forms before the maintenance begins, you will have to start the process again with new forms. We apologize for any inconvenience.
More information:
Read the release highlights on our TEAS and TEASi maintenance and enhancement page of the USPTO website to find out more about the changes we are making to TEAS and TEASi.

Agents and attorneys: Learn to think like an examiner

If you are a patent attorney or agent, it helps to think like an examiner. Learn how examiners make decisions in the Stakeholder Training on Examination Practice and Procedure (STEPP) agent and attorney course on January 28-30, 2020 at the Miami Beach Regional Library in Miami, Florida.
We will lead in-person courses based on material developed to train our employees. Training focuses on how our examiners review patent applications according to the Manual of Patent Examining Procedure (MPEP). Similar to entry-level examiners, each attendee will use a sample application that will be the focus of exercises.
We are applying for CLE credit in Florida for this course.
You can learn more about the program and upcoming sessions on the STEPP page of the USPTO website.

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Change in effective date of new rule requiring electronic filing for trademark submissions

USPTO has published a new rule in the Federal Register that changes the effective date of the rule requiring trademark applicants and registrants to:
  • File online using our Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS). 
  • Provide and maintain an accurate email address for receiving correspondence from the USPTO.
The new rule changes the effective date from October 5, 2019 to December 21, 2019.
Read more about how this federal trademark law change affects you.

Trademark New login requirement

Beginning October 26, 2019, you'll need to log in to a USPTO.gov account with two-step authentication to access and file forms. In addition to the new login procedure, TEAS and TEASi sessions will time out after 30 minutes of inactivity. These measures will allow us to better track filing activity and reduce misuse of our electronic forms.
Check out the log in to TEAS and TEASi page on the USPTO website for more information about this new requirement.
Webinar: How do I prepare for the new login requirement for TEAS?
Attend our free webinar on Tuesday, October 8, from 3-4 p.m. ET to learn about changes coming to TEAS and TEASi. We'll show you how to set up your account and log in with two-step authentication, and we'll answer your questions about the change.

Register for the webinar


USPTO portable media device policy changing October 1

Beginning Tuesday, October 1, the USPTO will prohibit the use of personal removable media storage devices, including USBs, with any USPTO computer, docking station, or monitor. Such devices include:
  • Portable disk drives such as USB drives or memory cards
  • Digital versatile discs (DVDs)
  • Read/write compact discs (CDs)
  • Devices that can operate as removable media storage devices (e.g. PDAs, digital cameras, and Apple iPods).
Visitors who need to share files with USPTO employees must transmit their data via email, cloud-based, or secure-file sharing services.
For more information on our removable media policy, please visit the policy webpage or email us at USB_Questions@uspto.gov.

Extension to the request for comments on patenting artificial intelligence inventions

In late August, the USPTO published a request for comments (RFC) seeking public comment on the subject of patenting artificial intelligence inventions. We will soon publish a new notice extending the public comment period until November 8, 2019.
Written comments in reference to this RFC should be sent by email to AIPartnership@uspto.gov.

Login requirement for TEAS and TEASi coming on October 26

As part of our efforts to build a more secure trademark filing system, we are implementing changes to the Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS) and TEASi (international).
Changes effective on October 26:
  • Access to forms: When you enter any TEAS or TEASi form, you will be prompted to log in to your USPTO.gov account with a two-step authentication. We will send you an authentication code during the login process, and you will be required to enter the code to access the form.

  • TEAS time out: Your TEAS or TEASi session will time out after 30 minutes of inactivity. If you are starting a new application, review the minimum filing requirements in the TMEP and the additional TEAS Plus or TEAS RF filing requirements.
Sign up for a USPTO.gov account to make sure you are ready for this change. Learn more about these changes and the additional security enhancements we are developing.  

Monday, September 23, 2019

Attend live hearings at the PTAB/TTAB Stadium Tour In Chicago

A live PTAB and TTAB proceedings on Thursday, October 3 at the Northwestern Pritzker School of Law in Chicago. Opening remarks start at 10 a.m. CT. This event will include a trademark opposition hearing, an AIA trial hearing, and an educational session where Board judges will share tips for successful advocacy before the TTAB and PTAB.
This program is for patent and trademark attorneys who appear in front of the PTAB and/or TTAB as well as those who want to learn about practice before these administrative tribunals. This program is free and open to the public. Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credits will be offered.
Get detailed information on the event page to view the program location, program agenda, and law school venue. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Webinar on filing patent applications electronically using DOCX

Join us for a Patent Quality Chat webinar on September 24, from noon to 1 p.m. ET. During this online-only webinar, we’ll discuss filing structured text (DOCX) as an efficient way to file a patent application electronically. You’ll learn what structured text is and how you can use it to file nonprovisional utility applications.
The webinar is free and open to all. Registration is not necessary. There will be a Q&A session at the end of the presentation. Please email questions before or during the webinar to PatentQuality@uspto.gov.
Find more information about this webinar on our event page.
The USPTO presents the Patent Quality Chat webinar series as a part of continuous efforts to improve patent quality.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Help improve DOCX application submissions

As a part of the eCommerce Modernization effort (eMod), you are now able to file new utility applications in the structured text format, DOCX. As we continue to make improvements to our systems, we invite you to participate in a brief survey to provide your input on this change. 
Your feedback is valuable to us and your participation shapes the future of our systems at the USPTO. Please respond by September 6.
More information is available on the DOCX webpage.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

PTAB “Boardside Chat” Webinar

The next USPTO "Boardside Chat" will be on Thursday, August 22, 2019, from 12 noon to 1 pm Eastern Time. The topic will be about hearings, including both appeal and AIA hearings.

To connect to the chat, please visit: PTAB Boardside Chat Webinar

Friday, August 9, 2019

U.S. lawyers: Beware of unauthorized withdrawal and revocation of attorney forms

What’s happening Bad actors are making unauthorized changes to attorney information using Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS) withdrawal and revocation of attorney forms by:
  • Signing the attorney of record’s name
  • Resetting the correspondence address to the applicant’s address in the initial application
  • Replacing the primary correspondence email address with the bad actor’s email address or deleting the email address
What we’ll do When we receive a request to change the primary email correspondence address of record, we’ll send an email to the prior primary email correspondence address to alert the attorney. Look for an email message from TEAS@uspto.gov with the subject line "Alert USPTO Change of Email Address" notifying you of changes to the primary email correspondence address in your cases.
What you should do
Keep contact info updated Bad actors appear primarily to be targeting registrations that don’t include a correspondence email address. You won’t receive a change of address alert if you don’t have a correspondence email address on record. Avoid this problem by ensuring that your registrations contain current contact information.
Future plansWe’re implementing a login requirement this fall to combat this problem.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Free seminar on trending issues in trade secrets

Register now to attend the September 19 USPTO program, “Trending Issues in Trade Secrets: 2019.”
This free, day-long seminar will feature informative presentations by leading government, judicial, and industry experts in the field of trade secret protection.
The program will also be available for viewing remotely via LiveStream. See the registration page for more details.

USPTO wants your feedback to help us enhance our services

USPTO is seeking volunteers to provide feedback as we enhance our customer experience. Sharing your opinion will inform and strengthen our efforts to provide consistent, clear, and intuitive services to trademark customers.
Sign up to share your opinion as we make improvements. We’ll contact you for feedback on our website, online systems, communication materials, and other trademark services.

Attend the Patent Public Advisory Committee quarterly meeting

The next Patent Public Advisory Committee (PPAC) quarterly meeting is on Thursday, August 8. You can watch online or attend in person at our headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia.
Learn more about the PPAC quarterly meeting, including the agenda and how to access the meeting online.

Trademark rule requiring foreign-domiciled applicants and registrants to have a U.S.-licensed attorney now in effect

If you are a foreign-domiciled trademark applicant, registrant, or party to Trademark Trial and Appeal Board proceedings, in all U.S. trademark matters you must now be represented by an attorney who is licensed to practice law in the United States. This includes Canadian applicants, registrants, and parties.
In addition to this change, U.S.-licensed attorneys representing anyone before the USPTO in trademark matters are now required to confirm they are an active member in good standing of their bar and to provide their bar membership information.
Learn more about this federal trademark law change.

Monday, August 5, 2019

New exam guide on U.S.-licensed attorney requirement

We have a new exam guide, "Requirement of U.S.-Licensed Attorney for Foreign Trademark Applicants and Registrants." It explains examination procedures in light of these new requirements. You can direct questions about the guide to TMPolicy@uspto.gov.

New rule requires electronic filing for trademark submissions

The USPTO has published a new rule in the Federal Register requiring electronic filing for trademark submissions.
This rule becomes effective on October 5.
Trademark applicants and registrants will be required to file online using the USPTO's Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS). Applicants and registrants will need to provide and maintain an accurate email address for receiving correspondence from the USPTO.
Paper and fax submissions will no longer be accepted. Email submissions will continue to not be accepted.
To learn more about this federal trademark law change, please visit the USPTO website.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Verified account required for EFS-Web and Private PAIR


Practitioners and independent inventors need a verified USPTO.gov account to access EFS-Web for registered eFilers and Private PAIR. Support staff, who are working on behalf of a practitioner, need to be sponsored to obtain access.
New customers, or customers who did not migrate by the migration deadline, can obtain a verified USPTO.gov account using the new verification process. See the USPTO website for more information.
If you have questions, please contact the Patent Electronic Business Center (EBC) at ebc@uspto.gov or 866-217-9197.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Apollo 50: The role of intellectual property in space commerce

Join the USPTO on July 23, 2-4 p.m. ET, at our headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia.
To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, the USPTO will host a free event focused on space innovation, technology transfer from the Apollo missions, and an overview of the current administration’s policy on space exploration and space commerce. Please RSVP at https://tinyurl.com/y2a4tyqh to attend in person. More information and livestream link are available on the USPTO website.
Featured speakers include federal government executives, astronauts, inventors, and commercial space industry executives.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Inventor Info Chat: Learn to use USPTO resources

Join the Patent Office for the next live USPTO Inventor Info Chat webinar on USPTO resources on July 18 from 11 a.m. to noon ET. 
The webinar will cover:
  • Using the Pro Se Assistance Program for pre-filing questions
  • Understanding how to qualify for the Pro Bono Program
  • Using Patent Trademark Resource Centers (PTRC) for searching patents
  • The September 13-14 Invention-Con 2019:
    "Leveraging your intellectual property in the marketplace"
During the event, you will have an opportunity to ask questions via inventorinfochat@uspto.gov.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Learn online how examiners approach restriction practice

Want to be briefed on recent examination practice and procedure guidance related to restriction practice? Attend our Virtual Instructor Led Training (vILT) course titled “Restriction Practice” on August 6. This course will be led by USPTO trainers and is based on recent training delivered to patent examiners.
This course has limited capacity, and selection for attendance is based on a first-come, first-served basis. Use our sign-up form to register.
The USPTO is applying for three hours of CLE credit in Virginia for this course.
You can learn more about the program, and upcoming sessions, on the USPTO vILT page.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Inventor Info Chat in Spanish Language

Join the next live USPTO Inventor Info Chat webinar, "Understanding Trademarks." This event will be a Spanish language broadcast on June 20, from 11 a.m. to noon ET. Applicants will learn how and when to file for a trademark and be able to ask questions about the steps of filing. Please email questions during the chat to inventorinfochat@uspto.gov.
To register for this chat, go to the Inventor Info webinar event page.
For assistance and to view past programs, please contact oidevents@uspto.gov.

EN ESPAÑOL

Únase a la próxima Charla de Información para Inventores de la Oficina de Patentes y Marcas de los Estados Unidos, transmitida en vivo, “Entendiendo las Marcas Comerciales.” Este evento será transmitido en español el 20 de junio, de 11 a.m. a 12 del mediodía, hora del este. solicitantes entenderán cómo y cuándo solicitar una marca comercial y tendrán la oportunidad de hacer preguntas sobre los pasos para presentar la solicitud. Durante la charla, favor de enviar sus preguntas a través del correo electrónico a inventorinfochat@uspto.gov.
Para registrarse para esta charla, visite la página del evento.
Para obtener asistencia y para ver los programas anteriores, comuníquese con oidevents@uspto.gov.

Monday, May 20, 2019

National Summer Teacher Institute

National Summer Teacher Institute on Innovation, STEM, and Intellectual Property (NSTI)
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will conduct its 6th Annual National Summer Teacher Institute (NSTI) on Innovation, STEM, and Intellectual Property July 28-August 2, 2019 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Deadline to apply is May 22, 2019. 

To apply: https://www.uspto.gov/…/o…/national-summer-teacher-institute

Copyright protection among topics explored at free Los Angeles program on protecting your intellectual property in China

Are you a business, individual, or attorney looking to hear about strategies for better protecting intellectual property in China? If so, plan to attend a free USPTO China IP Road Show in Los Angeles on Friday, June 7.
Several sessions of the all-day program will focus on copyright protection and enforcement.
USPTO Director Andrei Iancu will provide opening remarks. 
Register to attend this free program. 
Additional programs are planned for later in 2019. Check the China IP Road Show page for updates.

PKI Outage for EFS-Web and Private PAIR

The USPTO will have a series of upcoming outages to begin the phased termination of Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) certificates for Electronic Filing System-Web (EFS-Web) and Private Patent Application Information Retrieval (PAIR). This will not affect users accessing EFS-Web and Private PAIR with a verified USPTO.gov account.
The first PKI outage will be on May 22, starting at 12:01 AM and ending at 11:59 PM ET. Additional outages will be scheduled. Please see the USPTO System Status and Availability page for more information.
During the PKI outage, users will be unable to use PKI certificates to authenticate. However, authentication via verified USPTO.gov accounts to access EFS-Web and Private PAIR will be available. Please ensure that you migrated the proper PKI to the correct USPTO.gov account prior to the outage. If you have not migrated or need to sponsor support staff, please visit the Authentication Change webpage for guidance.
If you need to file a new application during this outage, please access EFS-Web with your verified USPTO.gov account, use EFS-Web for Unregistered eFilers, or use EFS-Web Contingency. If you need to file a follow-on submission and do not have a verified USPTO.gov account, please use an alternative filing method.
If you have questions or need to reverse an incorrectly migrated account, please contact the Patent Electronic Business Center (EBC) at ebc@uspto.gov or 866-217-9197.