Many people bemoan the state of today’s patent system. Backlogs in examination have grown to amazing dimensions. In 2011 the number of US applications awaiting examination was reported as being just under 700,000. Why does this happen?
Part of the answer seems to be the ease with which one can obtain a patent. Inventors embark on the application process knowing that they will meet with little resistance from examiners. Some examiners are, no doubt, more compliant than others, but, often, the experience is relatively painless.
The backlog has reached Borgesian proportions, and it feeds on itself: The patent examiner has less time to review more applications. Reviews become less rigorous. The easier the application process becomes, the more inventors apply.
- Beth Simone Noveck
Form ... Read More >>
When it comes to complex and organic forms, drawing design patents with consistent figures can be a challenge. The validity of a design patent is based on the consistent representation of a form that is seen from figure to figure - no figure can contain any information to the design if it is not seen in a different figure. A design patent protects the structural or ornamental appearance of the new invention, and the claims for the patent are based on the specific ornamental appearance of the patent drawings. It is critical that consistory is not only checked throughout the patent illustration process, but that it is built into the way the drawings are created.
At Legal Advantage we provide supplemental documentation to each design patent illustration, ensuring that all of the fig ... Read More >>
Washington - The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today announced the appointment of Mary Boney Denison as Deputy Commissioner for Trademark Operations. In her new position, Ms. Denison will oversee the examination and processing of applications throughout the trademark operation.
Ms. Denison is a founding partner of Manelli Denison & Selter PLLC in Washington, D.C. where her practice has focused on trademark prosecution and litigation. She has been an active member of the 5,500 member International Trademark Association (INTA) for many years having served as a member of the INTA Board of Directors for three years; as Vice Chair and Chair of its Treaty Analysis Committee; and most recently she served as Chair of the USPTO subcommittee charged with representing the ... Read More >>
The European Patent Office (EPO) has published its 2010 patent filing statistics, and records have been broken. The EPO received 235,000 patent filings which is an 11% increase over 2009, and sets the records as the most patents files in the EPO’s 34 year history.
EPO President Benoît Battistelli states: "The figures are clear: growth is back. In 2010 there was an increase in demand for patent protection from every region of the world. After a two-year slump the EU and US are nearly back to their levels of patenting of before the crisis. This combined with a massive rise in patent applications from Asia - led by China - has made 2010 a record year at the EPO."
Electronic devices, Chemical engineering, and network data companies lead the top patent applicants with Siemens appl ... Read More >>
The Minister for Intellectual property, Baroness Wilcox, launched an innovative new tool to help improve the patent application process where experts from the scientific and technology communities view and comment on patent applications. A six month pilot program will take place where 200 applications in the computing field will be uploaded and reviewed. Registered users will be able to comment and critique applications, after which the system will summarize the comments and send them to the appropriate patent examiner at the Intellectual Property Office (IPO).
"Patent applications granted after using the Peer To Patent website review will be potentially stronger, giving businesses better protection to grow their innovative ideas. This will give the IPO access to a wider body of k ... Read More >>
USPTO PRESS RELEASE
Washington – Today the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced that it is carefully studying the important en banc decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in the case of Therasense v. Becton, Dickinson to assess how it may impact agency practices and procedures. The agency also announced that it expects to soon issue guidance to applicants related to the prior art and information they must disclose to the Office in view of Therasense.
“We are now studying the potential impact of Therasense v. Becton, Dickinson on Office practice, and we expect to soon issue guidance to applicants regarding the materials they must submit to the Office under their duty of disclosure,” said Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Proper ... Read More >>
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today announced a new pilot project for the Patent Prosecution Highway with the Swedish Patent and Registration Office (PRV) based on Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) work products (PCT-PPH pilot program). PPH will permit each office to benefit from the PCT work previously done by the other office, which reduces the examination workload and improves patent quality. Read More >>
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today announced a new pilot project for the Patent Prosecution Highway with the Swedish Patent and Registration Office (PRV) based on Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) work products (PCT-PPH pilot program). PPH will permit each office to benefit from the PCT work previously done by the other office, which reduces the examination workload and improves patent quality.
USPTO Press Release, 11-34
Washington – The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), in cooperation with the Office of the Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator (IPEC), today announced the launch of a new online database (www.usipr.gov) where U.S. government agencies are now posting information about the intellectual property rights (IPR) training programs they conduct around the world.
The Global Intellectual Property Education: Training Program Database was a product of the 2010 Joint Strategic Plan on Intellectual Property Enforcement. The Strategic Plan called for the creation of a central database in which agencies that conduct international intellectual property enforcement training could deposit training materials to promote greater coordination and avoid ... Read More >>
USPTO Press Release 11-33
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today announced the Full First Action Interview Pilot Program, which is an expansion of the Enhanced First Action Interview Pilot Program so as to include all utility applications in all technology areas and filing dates. As with the previous First Action Interview pilot programs (which included the Original and the Enhanced pilots), the applicant is entitled to a first action interview, upon request, prior to the first Office action on the merits. This pilot will run through May 16, 2012.
Participants in the previous First Action Interview pilots experienced many benefits including: (1) the ability to advance prosecution of an application; (2) enhanced interaction between the applicant and the examiner; ... Read More >>
Unveiled on May 10th, the USPTO now provides a Trademarks Dashboard tool demonstrating a data visualization of many factors concerning trademark processing and how they compare to the past years. This tool gives users access to information including first action and total pendency, first and final action quality, filing methods metrics, as well as total registrations broken down by classes and fiscal year.
The end goal of this tool is to keep the users and the applicants up to date with the efforts at the USPTO, by measuring and providing statistics within the Trademark division. A notable measure of quality is the first action quality statistic, which is “measured through an evaluation of all issues involved in making a first action substantive decision on the registrability of a mar ... Read More >>