patentability http://www.patentabilityblog.com a weblog for the intellectual property law community Mon, 10 Aug 2015 23:53:01 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.6.6 6963442 2015 Inventors Hall of Fame Inductees Honored at the Smithsonian http://www.patentabilityblog.com/2015/05/14/2015-inventors-hall-of-fame-inductees-honored-at-the-smithsonian/ Thu, 14 May 2015 15:29:27 +0000 http://www.patentabilityblog.com/?p=1304

2015 Inventors Hall of Fame Inductees

From the Commerce Department:

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) inducted fourteen of America’s greatest innovators into the National Inventors Hall of Fame on Tuesday night, May 12, 2015. Held at the Smithsonian’s American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. – a former home of the Patent Office – CBS News correspondent and television personality Mo Rocca moderated the event, while Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO Michelle K. Lee presented induction medals. Seven living inventors were inducted, and another seven were named posthumously.

The inductees’ patented innovations revolutionized their industries and changed people’s lives. Those honored include Nobel Prize winner Shuji Nakamura, responsible for the blue light-emitting diode (LED) which enabled the white LED, and the blue laser diode; Jaap Haartsen, the inventor of Bluetooth® technology, now used in 2.7 billion devices and growing; George Alcorn, who furthered deep space exploration with his X-ray spectrometer; Kristina M. Johnson and Gary Sharp, pioneers in display technology related to rear projection television and 3D applications; duo Ioannis Yannas and John Burke, who have saved the lives of many burn victims with their invention of Artificial Skin; and Thomas Jennings, the first African American to receive a patent, who invented the precursor to modern dry cleaning. View a complete list of the honorees and their inventions online.

You can also visit the National Inventors Hall of Fame in Alexandria, Virginia, on the USPTO campus. The agency established it in 1973 with non-profit Invent Now, an organization that also educates more than 100,000 grade-school and middle-school students every year through interactive programs such as Camp Invention. Honored in the museum are more than 500 important individuals whose innovations have saved lives and transformed society while stimulating economic growth and job creation. They have done that in part through use of the intellectual property protections afforded to them for their innovation. To be inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame, one must hold a U.S. patent, as well as contribute significantly to the nation’s welfare and the advancement of science and the useful arts.

The induction ceremony was part of a three-day event series to honor both the new and previous inductees. It kicked off with an illumination ceremony at the USPTO campus in Alexandria, Virginia on May 11, was followed by the induction on May 12, and concluded with an “Innovation Echo” discussion on May 13 moderated by Mo Rocca that featured noteworthy panel members including past and present inductees.

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Acting Director Rea Announces Departure From the USPTO http://www.patentabilityblog.com/2013/09/12/acting-director-rea-announces-departure-from-the-uspto/ Thu, 12 Sep 2013 16:52:23 +0000 http://www.patentabilityblog.com/?p=1287

reaIn a message to all USPTO employees sent on September 12, 2013, Deputy Director and Acting Director of the USPTO Teresa Stanek Rea announced her departure from the USPTO “in the near future.” The message implies that a new Director will be named soon.  With Rea’s departure, and with a new Chief of Staff just announced, the USPTO is undergoing an unusual amount of turnover in the top level of leadership.  Best wishes to Ms. Rea in her future endeavors.

The text of Rea’s message follows:

Subject: A message from Deputy Director Teresa Stanek Rea

Dear Colleagues,

It has been a tremendous honor and a true pleasure to serve with you as Deputy Director and Acting Director of the USPTO, America’s own “innovation agency.” It is with deep appreciation and gratitude that I inform you that I have decided to leave the agency in the near future.

I joined the United States Patent and Trademark Office in March of 2011 as Deputy Director and have been privileged to serve at an historic time for this agency. As deputy to Dave Kappos, I was fortunate enough to participate in our agency’s implementation of historic patent reforms, as well as ongoing efforts to modernize our entire way of serving and engaging our stakeholders and the public in all areas of our operations.

Our senior leadership team has exercised true vision in ensuring we set the standard for excellence in government and empowering all of you to continue to do the incredible work that you do. That dedication is reflected in our rapid rise in the rankings of one of the top places to work in the federal government. It is my anticipation that we will soon welcome a new Director who will continue guiding the excellent work of the agency. Until then, I will do everything I can to ensure a smooth transition.

Thank you for the privilege of serving with you.

Teresa Stanek Rea
Deputy Undersecretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property &
Deputy Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office

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USPTO to Host 18th Annual Independent Inventors Conference http://www.patentabilityblog.com/2013/09/11/uspto-to-host-18th-annual-independent-inventor-conference/ Wed, 11 Sep 2013 15:21:03 +0000 http://www.patentabilityblog.com/?p=1282

AlexBanner_HPThe United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced that it will host its 18th Annual Independent Inventors Conference on October 11-12, 2013, at the USPTO headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia. Attendees will have an opportunity to meet one-on-one with senior USPTO experts and participate in panels and breakout sessions addressing specific intellectual property topics relevant to modern inventors and small business owners. This is an excellent educational and networking opportunity for new and experienced business owners and inventors.

USPTO senior officials and experts will provide practical information on patents, trademarks, and other intellectual property (IP) matters, while successful business owners and inventors will relate their personal experiences of bringing their ideas to market. In addition, representatives from government, legal, and business development entities will discuss commercial best practices and describe resources offered by their organizations. A pre-conference workshop will take place on the evening of Thursday, October 10.

More information, including directions, meeting agenda and RSVP details can be found here.

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USPTO to Host America Invents Act Second Anniversary Forum http://www.patentabilityblog.com/2013/09/04/uspto-to-host-america-invents-act-second-anniversary-forum/ Wed, 04 Sep 2013 14:05:47 +0000 http://www.patentabilityblog.com/?p=1279

USPTOThe United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today announced that it will host an America Invents Act (AIA) Second Anniversary Forum on Monday, September 16, 2013, from 1:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. ET in the Madison North Auditorium at the USPTO headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia. The public meeting will serve as an opportunity to bring stakeholders together with USPTO subject matter experts to address specific AIA provisions.  Experts from the Patent Business Unit and administrative patent judges from the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) will discuss various provisions of the patent law, focusing on filings made during the past several months with tips for compliance. In particular, the agency will address prioritized examination (aka Track One), preissuance submissions, inventor’s oath/declaration, supplemental examination, micro-entity discount, first-inventor-to-file, and the administrative trials. Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions during each segment.

The event will also be webcast live through the USPTO website. More information, including directions, webcast login instructions, meeting agenda and RSVP details will be available on the AIA microsite.

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USPTO Upgrades Patent Full Text and Image Database http://www.patentabilityblog.com/2013/08/26/uspto-upgrades-patent-full-text-and-image-database/ Mon, 26 Aug 2013 18:28:17 +0000 http://www.patentabilityblog.com/?p=1272

sub imageThe United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has upgraded the USPTO Full Text and Image Database.  This upgrade, which the patent community has been requesting for years, uses PDF images instead of TIFF images and provides several new benefits, including the ability to print full documents. Patent images, i.e., each page in a patent, may be viewed, printed and saved using a standard PDF-equipped browser. A separate TIFF plug-in is no longer required. In addition to the standard page-by-page viewing, users may now also click on a “Full Document” button to retrieve all the pages in a patent or published application at once.

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USPTO to Host Next Software Partnership Meeting in Berkeley, California http://www.patentabilityblog.com/2013/08/19/uspto-to-host-next-software-partnership-meeting-in-berkeley-california/ Mon, 19 Aug 2013 21:25:53 +0000 http://www.patentabilityblog.com/?p=1263

 

Berkeley LawThe United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today announced that it will host its next Software Partnership Meeting on Thursday, October 17, 2013, at the U.C. Berkeley School of Law in Berkeley, California. The public meeting will serve as an opportunity to bring stakeholders together to share ideas, experiences and insights and to provide a forum for an informal discussion on topics specific to the software community. Senior USPTO officials will provide an overview of the executive actions related to patent assertion entities and U.S. innovation initiatives called for in President Obama’s executive actions on June 4th. Other topics of discussion will include feedback from the previous Software Partnership roundtables held in Silicon Valley and New York; a summary of the written comments received in response to the January Federal Register notice announcing the Software Partnership; proposed next steps by the USPTO; and an interactive discussion session on strategies to improve claim clarity, such as the use of glossaries in patent applications.

Space is limited and registration will be done on a first-come first-served basis. RSVPs must be received by September 27, 2013. The event will also be viewable live online through the USPTO website. More information including directions, meeting agenda and RSVP details can be found on the Software Partnership page on the USPTO website here

For further information, please contact Seema Rao, Director, Technology Center 2100 seema.rao@uspto.gov, or by telephone at 571-2712-0800.

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U.S. Department of Commerce Publishes Green Paper on Updating Copyright Policies for the Internet Age http://www.patentabilityblog.com/2013/08/01/u-s-department-of-commerce-publishes-green-paper-on-updating-copyright-policies-for-the-internet-age/ Thu, 01 Aug 2013 14:03:45 +0000 http://www.patentabilityblog.com/?p=1254

doclogoThe U.S. Department of Commerce released a green paper on Copyright Policy, Creativity, and Innovation in the Digital Economy (Green Paper) to advance discussion on a set of policy issues critical to economic growth. The Green Paper discusses the goals of maintaining an appropriate balance between rights and exceptions as the law continues to be updated; ensuring that copyright can be meaningfully enforced on the Internet; and furthering the development of an efficient online marketplace.

The Green Paper released July 31, 2013 is the most thorough and comprehensive analysis of digital copyright policy issued by any administration since 1995. The report is a product of the Department of Commerce’s Internet Policy Task Force (IPTF) with input from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). Through the IPTF, the USPTO and NTIA will solicit further public comments and convene roundtables and forums on a number of key policy issues.

“Copyright law strikes a number of important balances in delineating what is protectable and what is not, determining what uses are permitted without a license, and establishing appropriate enforcement mechanisms to combat piracy, so that all stakeholders benefit from the protection afforded by copyright,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker. “Ensuring that our copyright policy provides incentives for creativity while promoting innovation on the Internet is a critical and challenging task. The Green Paper released today is an important step toward ensuring that the United States’ creative industries continue to have a substantial impact on strengthening our nation’s economy.”

Copyright has been a vital contributor to U.S. cultural and economic development for more than two hundred years, fostering the production and dissemination of the valuable expression that has put America at the forefront of the global creative marketplace. Maintaining a balanced and effective copyright system should continue to drive the production of creative works while at the same time preserving the innovative power of the Internet and the free flow of information. The Green Paper provides a comprehensive review of current policy related to copyright and the Internet, and identifies important issues that call for attention and development of solutions. The solutions may entail a combination of legal remedies, technology, private sector cooperation, and public outreach and education, along with the continued development of options to legally access copyrighted works.

In the Green Paper, the IPTF proposes the following actions:

  • Establishing a multistakeholder dialogue on improving the operation of the notice and takedown system under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).
  • Soliciting public comment and convening roundtables on:
    • The legal framework for the creation of remixes;
    • The relevance and scope of the first sale doctrine in the digital environment;
    • The application of statutory damages in the context of individual file-sharers and secondary liability for large-scale online infringement;
    • The appropriate role for the government, if any, to help improve the online licensing environment, including access to comprehensive public and private databases of rights information.

“Copyright protection is a foundation for creative services and products that drive a significant part of the U.S. economy,” said Acting Under Secretary for Intellectual Property and Acting USPTO Director Teresa Stanek Rea. “The Internet must continue to support a legitimate market for copyrighted works as well as provide a platform for innovation and the introduction of new and dynamic services that drive digital commerce.”

“We see a digital future in which the relationship among digital technology, the Internet, and creative industries becomes increasingly symbiotic,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information and NTIA Administrator Lawrence E. Strickling. “In this digital future, the rights of creators and copyright owners are appropriately protected; creative industries continue to make their substantial contributions to the nation’s economic competitiveness; online service providers continue to expand the variety and quality of their offerings; technological innovation continues to thrive; and consumers have access to the broadest possible range of creative content.”

The Green Paper reiterates the Administration’s support for legislation creating a public performance right for the broadcasting of sound recordings and enabling prosecutors to seek felony penalties for unauthorized streaming to the public. It supports congressional or regulatory attention to determine how best to rationalize rate-setting standards for different types of music services; reform music licensing, particularly the mechanical license for musical compositions; and ensure consumers can unlock their cell phones, subject to applicable service agreements. It supports the U.S. Copyright Office’s work to address the problems of orphan works and mass digitization, consider possible small claims procedures, update the statutory exception for libraries, and improve public registration and recordation systems. The Green Paper also supports and encourages enhancing public education and outreach efforts.

With respect to the difficulties in enforcement against websites dedicated to infringement, the Green Paper encourages ongoing voluntary initiatives, such as those facilitated by the U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator (IPEC), that benefit all parties and are consistent with the principles of privacy, free speech, competition, and due process, and states that the IPTF will follow these developments and assess their impact in order to determine whether additional action is needed. The USPTO has also extended its request for comments regarding the processes, data metrics, and methodologies that could be used to assess the effectiveness of cooperative agreements and other voluntary initiatives to reduce intellectual property infringement. This comment solicitation is part of the Administration’s 2013 Joint Strategic Plan for Intellectual Property Enforcement.

Then-Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke launched the IPTF in April 2010, bringing together the USPTO and NTIA, as well as the International Trade Administration (ITA), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and the Economic and Statistic Administration (ESA) to conduct a comprehensive review of privacy policy, copyright, global free flow of information, cybersecurity, and their respective relationships to innovation in the Internet economy. In preparing the Green Paper, USPTO and NTIA held more than a dozen listening sessions with interested stakeholders, convened a symposium, received hundreds of public comments, and reviewed comments submitted to other agencies on relevant topics. The IPTF will consider feedback it receives from public comments, roundtables and forums to determine how the current copyright framework can be improved to serve creators, right holders, service providers, consumers, innovation, and national economic goals.

The Green Paper can be found online here.

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WIPO Announces New Madrid System Trademark Services http://www.patentabilityblog.com/2013/07/31/wipo-announces-new-madrid-system-trademark-services/ Wed, 31 Jul 2013 16:16:08 +0000 http://www.patentabilityblog.com/?p=1246

wipoThe International Bureau of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) announced that it will provide new special services to better serve the needs of users of the Madrid Agreement and Protocol Concerning the International Registration of Marks system.  These new special services will be available upon request and with the payment of a fee, in accordance with Item 9 of the Schedule of Fees, in force on September 1, 2008.

As of August 1, 2013, users of the Madrid system will be able to request the following new special services:

(a) Issuance of a certified copy of a certificate of an international registration and of a certificate of its renewal

The International Bureau of WIPO may issue certified copies of certificates of international registrations effected as from January 1, 2006, as well as of the certificates corresponding to their renewals. Please note that holders of international registrations effected as from January 1, 2011, or their recorded representatives, may download, free of charge, simple copies of the above-mentioned certificates using the Madrid Portfolio Manager, available here. Certified copies of a certificate of an international registration and a certificate of its renewal will be issued for a fee of 50 Swiss francs per certified copy.

(A certified copy consists of a reproduction of the certificate issued at the time of the international registration or its renewal.  A certificate presents, among other things, information concerning the holder, the list of goods and services and the designated Contracting Parties at the time of the international registration or its renewal.  A certified copy would not result in a new or updated version of the corresponding certificate.)

(b) Expedited establishment of a certified extract from the International Register

Along with a request for the establishment of a simple or detailed certified extract from the International Register, users may also request that such establishment be expedited. In these cases, the International Bureau of WIPO will produce the simple or detailed certified extract within five working days, following the receipt of a request for its expedited establishment. Following a request for this new special service, users will have to pay the corresponding new special service fee, in addition to the fee corresponding to the establishment of a simple or detailed certified extract, as provided for in Item 8 of the abovementioned Schedule of Fees. The International Bureau of WIPO will expedite the establishment of a simple or detailed certified extract upon the payment of a fee of 100 Swiss francs per extract.

(Users may request a simple certified extract from the International Register comprising copies of all the inscriptions related to an international registration, as published in the WIPO Gazette of International Marks, including those following requests for recordings and decisions transmitted by the Offices of the designated Contracting Parties.  Users may also request a detailed certified extract from the International Register listing all the inscriptions related to an international registration and indicating the goods and services in respect of which protection has been granted or refused per designated Contracting Party, as communicated by the Office concerned.  Further information on extracts from the International Register may be found here)

(c) Legalization of a certified extract from the International Register

Along with a request for the establishment of a simple or detailed certified extract from the International Register, users may also request that such extract be legalized with a view to their production in non-Contracting Parties of the Madrid system. Pursuant to Article 5ter(3) of the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks and Article 5ter(3) of the Protocol Relating that Agreement, extracts from the International Register with a view to their production in one of the Contracting Parties of the Madrid system shall be exempt from any legalization. Following a request for this new special service, users will have to pay the corresponding new special service fee, in addition to the fees charged by the competent authorities effecting the legalization as well as the abovementioned fee corresponding to the establishment of a simple or detailed certified extract. All of the aforesaid fees shall be paid to the International Bureau of WIPO. The International Bureau of WIPO will provide for the legalization of a simple or detailed certified extract upon the payment of a fee of 75 Swiss francs per extract.

Users of the Madrid system will be able to request these new special services to the Client Records Unit of the Madrid Operations Service by sending a detailed communication, indicating the new special service requested and the international registration number to which the request relates, to the following address: madrid.records@wipo.int.

For further information, users may call the Client Records Unit of the Madrid Operations Service at +41 22 338 84 84.

 

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Kappos Stepping Down as Director of the USPTO http://www.patentabilityblog.com/2012/11/26/kappos-stepping-down-as-director-of-the-uspto/ Mon, 26 Nov 2012 17:43:01 +0000 http://www.patentabilityblog.com/?p=1234

Today, David J. Kappos,the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office announced that he would be leaving the agency around the end of January 2013. Kappos thanked the agency’s employees and expressed that it has been an immense privilege to lead the USPTO over the last three and a half years.  During much of this time he was involved with advocating for and implementing the America Invents Act, a law that  represents the most significant change to the U.S. patent system since 1952.  We wish him all the best in his future endeavors.

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USPTO Publishes Proposed Rules to Implement Micro Entity Status for Paying Discounted Patent Fees http://www.patentabilityblog.com/2012/05/31/uspto-publishes-proposed-rules-to-implement-micro-entity-status-for-paying-discounted-patent-fees/ http://www.patentabilityblog.com/2012/05/31/uspto-publishes-proposed-rules-to-implement-micro-entity-status-for-paying-discounted-patent-fees/#comments Thu, 31 May 2012 20:11:31 +0000 http://www.patentabilityblog.com/?p=1224

In a move designed to help independent inventors, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is proposing to amend the rules of practice in patent cases to implement the micro entity provision of the America Invents Act (AIA). If an applicant qualifies as a micro entity, then the applicant is eligible to pay reduced patent fees once the USPTO exercises its fee setting authority under the AIA. The fee setting provision in the AIA sets the micro entity discount at 75% of the fees set or adjusted for filing, searching, examining, issuing, appealing, and maintaining patent applications and patents.

More specifically, the Office is proposing changes to the rules of practice to set out the procedures for an applicant to claim micro entity status and to pay patent fees as a micro entity. The USPTO likewise is proposing changes to the rules of practice to set procedures for an applicant to notify the Office of the loss of micro entity status and to correct payments of patent fees erroneously paid in the micro entity amount. The USPTO published these proposed changes to rules in the Federal Register on May 30, 2012.

To establish micro entity status under the proposed rules, the applicant will have to certify that the applicant:

  • Has not been named as an inventor on more than four previously filed patent applications, other than applications filed in another country, provisional applications under 35 U.S.C. 111(b), or international applications for which the basic national fee under 35 U.S.C. 41(a) was not paid (an applicant is not considered to be named on a previously filed application for purposes of the proposed rules if the applicant has assigned, or is under an obligation by contract or law to assign, all ownership rights in the application as the result of the applicant’s previous employment);
  • Did not, in the calendar year preceding the calendar year in which the applicable fee is being paid, have a gross income, as defined in section 61(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (26 U.S.C. 61(a)), exceeding three times the median household income for that preceding calendar year, as most recently reported by the Bureau of the Census; and
  • Has not assigned, granted, or conveyed, and is not under an obligation by contract or law to assign, grant, or convey, a license or other ownership interest in the application concerned to an entity that, in the calendar year preceding the calendar year in which the applicable fee is being paid, had a gross income, as defined in section 61(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, exceeding three times the median household income for that preceding calendar year, as most recently reported by the Bureau of the Census.

Publication in the Federal Register of the proposed rules to implement the micro entity provision of the AIA begins a sixty-day public comment period. During this time, the public may provide written input about the proposed rules. Further information about the proposed rules to implement micro entity provision may be found in the Federal Register Notice available here.

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