It was another busy year at IPWatchdog.com, and I want to thank all of our readers and guest contributors for making this year very special.
Although we have not been officially notified by the ABA, the vote totals are now viewable on the ABA Journal Blawg 100 page and it seems that we have been voted the top IP law blog for 2012! We have now been honored as one of the top 100 legal blogs by the American Bar Association for four years in a row, and the top IP law blog in 2010 and again in 2012.
In terms of website traffic, during 2012 we had our best year ever. For 2012 we averaged 82,632 unique visitors per month (compared with an average of about 71,000 for 2011). We also finished 2012 with our top three monthly totals for unique visitors, with 90,656 in October 2012, 89,541 in November 2012 and 87,583 in December 2012.
During 2012 we again had a number of top flight interviews with industry news makers. During 2012 we interviewed a whose-who of the United States Patent and Trademark Office: David Kappos (USPTO Director), Teresa Rea (USPTO Deputy Director), Margaret Focarino (Commissioner for Patents), Deborah Cohn (Commissioner for Trademarks), Peter Pappas (USPTO Chief of Staff), Bernie Knight (USPTO General Counsel) and Ray Chen (USPTO Solicitor General) and Bob Stoll (former Commissioner for Patents) and Todd Dickinson (AIPLA Executive Director and former USPTO Director). We interviewed Supreme Court super-advocate and former Solicitor General Seth Waxman, and we interviewed AIPLA Presidents Bill Barber and Jeff Lewis, and also interviewed AUTM President Todd Sherer. We also interviewed author, inventor and inventor coach Stephen Key and Erik Iverson, who is Executive VP for Business Development and External Affairs at the Infectious Disease Research Institute.
We published 534 articles during 2012, some 148 of which were written by guest contributors. Look for both numbers to increase during 2013. If you are interested in writing for IPWatchdog take a look at our article guidelines and contact us for more information. We are always looking for interesting perspectives and contributions, whether a general topic or specific niche article.
As you may have noticed, during December 2012 we started to “feature” certain articles and will continue to do so, and have commitments from a number of contributors to write at least once a month. This will allow us to continue to broaden our coverage. For example, Joe Allen will write once a month about Bayh-Dole and/or technology management issues. Ed Silverman will write a rundown of the big pharma news of the previous month. Beth Hutchens will write about trademarks, copyrights and First Amendment issues. Ray Millien and Erig Guttag will write about a variety of patent issues.
The top 20 articles written in 2012 in terms of traffic are listed below. The list does not include legacy articles like The Cost of Obtaining Patent (1,26,869 reads in 2012), Can You Patent an Idea (92,155 reads in 2012) and Defending the Myth of the Sole Inventor (70,136 reads in 2012), which were the top articles for 2012, along with a handful of others with staying power. Nevertheless, the #1 article below was read some 33,245 and #20 was read 4,959 times. Which one of these from 2012 will have staying power? My guess is at least #1 and #6, perhaps others.
- Patent Litigation Study Discusses Dealing with NPEs
- Jerk.com: Dealing with Online Harassment and Cyberbullying
- Using Copyright Law to Get Removed from Jerk.com
- Internet Power Grab at World Conference on Telecommunications
- Killing Industry: The Supreme Court Blows Mayo v. Prometheus
- The Law of Recipes: Are Recipes Patentable?
- Making it Easier to Get a Patent
- Debunking Innovative Copycats and the Patent Monopoly
- Patent Searching 101: A Patent Search Tutorial
- More Cybersquatting on the Horizon with launch of New gTLDs
- Prior Borat: Non-traditional Prior Art Rejections
- Patentability Overview: When Can an Invention be Patented?
- AIA Proposed Rules: Fees at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board
- Protecting Your Invention When You Need Help
- 5 Bad Habits Small Bsuinesses Have with Social Media
- Is there a Systematic Denial of Due Process at the USPTO?
- Stopping Online Piracy in the Age of Entitlement
- Reviewing a Patent Application Drafted by an Inventor
- Patentability Overview: Obviousness and Adequate Description
- The Top 5 Mistakes Inventors Make
Moving forward into 2013 we plan to continue to seek out and accept guest contributions from thought leaders on a variety of topics. Our news features and op-ed articles, a mainstay for years, will continue to make up a big part of what we publish, as will our interviews. In 2013 we already published our first big interview with Chief Judge James Smith and Vice-Chief Judge James Moore of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board. Several interviews are already complete and awaiting publication and more are planned.
From an IP standpoint, my patent application remains pending and we will continue to pursue the issuance of a patent on the Invent & Patent System. We just received a final office action, which was unfortunately quite disappointing. The examiner issued a 112 rejection (among other things) saying that something that is clearly identified in Figs. 5 and 6 and in several paragraphs finds no support in the specification. Quite frustrating to be the client at times. Although I haven’t gone through the Action in great detail it looks like there are no 102 rejections, so I remain optimistic.
On the trademark front, at the prodding of Renee, we finally filed trademark applications and received trademarks for the two IPWatchdog logos above during 2012, as well as for the word “IPWATCHDOG.”
While professionally 2012 was a banner year, personally it was the worst year of my life. I lost my mother to lung cancer in the early morning hours of May 17, 2012. Thankfully, I was able to spend the final 4 weeks of her life with her almost constantly. When she was awake I was with her, when she slept I worked via laptop next to her bed. It was the most difficult thing I have ever done, but also the most rewarding. The outpouring of support from readers and member of the IP community was enormous. I shared many special memories with those who reached out to me personally, both of my mother and of the departed loved ones of those seeking to console me. It is easy to get wrapped up with the minutia — you know, lost in the small stuff. At the end of the day we are all just passing through and we have far more in common than any differences. There are a tremendous number of good people in my life and for that I am extremely thankful.
Onward in 2013!